A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series January 23, 2011 - Third Sunday after the Epiphany
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 8:1-13 for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, January 23, 2011.
It is from FORMULA OF CONCORD: SOLID DECLARATION, ARTICLE I.
Just as a leper needed to be cleansed and to be declared clean of his leprosy by the priest in order to be restored to the community, so does the sinner need to be cleansed and declared clean of his sins to be made a part of the community called Church.
33 Original sin is like a spiritual poison and leprosy, as Luther says [LW 7:233]. It has poisoned and corrupted the whole human nature. So we cannot show and point out to the eye, human nature by itself or original sin by itself. Nevertheless, there is the corrupt nature, or essence of the corrupt person (body and soul—the person himself) whom God has created. (Original sin dwells in a person. It also corrupts the nature and essence of the entire person.) And there is original sin, which dwells in human nature or essence and corrupts it. They are not one and the same thing. For example, in outward leprosy the body that is leprous and the leprosy on or in the body are not one thing, properly speaking. But a distinction must also be maintained between our nature as created and preserved by God (in which sin is indwelling) and original sin (which dwells in the nature). These two things can, and must, be considered, taught, and believed separately according to Holy Scripture.
34 Furthermore, the chief articles of our Christian faith drive and compel us to preserve this distinction. For instance, in the article of creation, Scripture testifies that God has created human nature not only before the fall, but that it is God's creature and work also since the fall. (See Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 45:11; 54:5; 64:8; Acts 17:25; Revelation 4:11.) . . .
38. . . Nevertheless, this same creature and work of God is sadly corrupted by sin. For the material from which God now forms and makes man was corrupted and perverted in Adam and is thus passed along by inheritance to us. 39 Here pious Christian hearts justly ought to consider God's unspeakable goodness. God does not immediately cast from Himself this corrupt, perverted, sinful material into hellfire. No, He forms and makes the present human nature from it (which is sadly corrupted by sin) in order that He may cleanse it from all sin, sanctify, and save it by His dear Son.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen