A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series February 27, 2011 - Sexagesima
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 8:4-15 for the Sexagesima, February 27, 2011.
It is from Formula of Concord: Epitome, IV. Good Works.
God's Word as it is cultivated in the hearts of believers who continue to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Word and Sacrament of Christ's Church produces good works. Where the desires of the flesh choke off the hearing of God's Word, the Holy Spirit and faith are lost.
The Pure Teaching of the Christian Churches about This Controversy 11 6. We also believe, teach, and confess that when it is said, "The regenerate do good works from a free spirit," this is not to be understood as though it were an option for the regenerate person to do or not to do good when he wants, as though a person can still retain faith if he intentionally perseveres in sins [1 John 2:5-9]. False Contrary Doctrine 16 1. We reject and condemn the following ways of speaking when they are taught and written: "Good works are necessary to salvation." Also, "No one ever has been saved without good works." Also, "It is impossible to be saved without good works." 17 2. We reject and condemn as offensive and detrimental to Christian discipline the bare expression "Good works are harmful to salvation." 18 In these last times it is certainly no less needful to encourage people to Christian discipline ‹to the way of right and godly living› and to do good works. We need to remind them of how necessary it is that they exercise themselves in good works as a declaration of their faith [Matthew 5:16] and gratitude to God [Hebrews 13:15-16]. But works should not be mingled in the article of justification. For people may be just as damned by an Epicurean delusion about faith as they are by papistic and Pharisaic confidence in their own works and merits. 19 3. We also reject and condemn the teaching that faith and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are not lost by willful sin, but that the saints and elect retain the Holy Spirit even though they fall into adultery and other sins and persist in them.
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