Posts Posted in April 2021View All Posts >>

Legalism demands that we keep as law even those things that were never intended to be law. Ancient customary matters of hair, dress, jewelry, food, drink, and other minutia become the focus for some people. “Do this! Don't do that!” preoccupies their attentions and energies More
It is no wonder that people think one has to do something to make God happy. This is the way with religion. We imagine that God must be appeased and that religious people must do the pacifying. More
The Large Catechism regards the Sabbath as “an entirely external matter, like the other regulations of the Old Testament associated with particular customs, persons, times, and places.” More
It is perfectly fitting for a congregation to develop rules for how things are done in the church. And it is perfectly wrong to say that one earns God's grace by keeping those rules. More
There are some who sin by having faith in the things that they do. There are others who are not content with this but must have a following, leading others astray from a knowledge of the truth. This should not be a strange revelation... More
The Church has no need of more rules and traditions. The law which is in place through the Scripture is more than sufficient to make people aware of their sinful condition. The grace... More
The issue for the Lutherans was not whether one should, for example, fast during Lent or observe a service of worship beyond the Lord's Day. More
No bishop or pastor should create any tradition that promises people God's grace. Nor should the people be threatened with God's disfavor when people do not obey these human inventions. More
The jurisdictions of Church and State must be kept separate. If a bishop has secular power, it was conferred by the government, not by divine agency. More
Powers are kept at bay and the kingdom of Christ is advanced every time we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” More
The power of the keys is as clear as the plain commissioning of the gospel. Preach! Inherent to the proclamation of the gospel is the administration of God's grace through his sacraments. More
Put in plain terms, the Church has power in spiritual matters. The State is left to deal with all else. Both Church and State overreach when they enter into the affairs of the other. More
God's will is that we would perform our normal duties of life faithfully and sincerely. In other words, we must not run from life, hoping that a deal we make with God will somehow make us perfect. More
What is there to do when the advice one gets at Church is in conflict with the gospel? First of all, we should not be surprised. More
Christ is the sole player in our perfection. He has made satisfaction and atonement for our sins. We can add nothing to his perfect work on the cross. More
To say that one may do something—anything—that could earn God's grace is an insult to the gospel of our Lord. The Lutherans pointed out this fallacy in the monasticism practiced at the time of the Reformation. More
The Lutherans believed that marriages could not be annulled by monastic vows. Indeed, the opposite is the case: marriage vows annul monastic obligations. More
When the Apostle Paul was a grown man, able to make decisions as to whether or not to be married, he seems to have chosen to remain unmarried so that his time could be devoted to the kingdom of God. More
The practice of religion can be insincere and downright hypocritical. Even our devotion can be disingenuous when it is focused on self instead of God. So we should watch our step and guard our words. More
The Lutherans at Wittenberg allowed those under vows to marry. Some had been placed under monastic orders by their families, and others by their own ignorance More
The Apostle Paul admits that he is not perfect, but struggling against his flesh. (Rom 7:15) He presses on toward the goal of completeness, in spite of his imperfect state. More
The idea that one could earn favor with God permeated the Church. Monastic vows was one more example of this doctrine of works. More
Lutheran worship is well-known for being traditional, often in form but always in terms of those things that contribute to good order. More
The difference was, as it always was for the Lutherans, that they did not regard discipline of the flesh and other Church traditions as necessary for salvation. More
God's grace cannot be earned or increased by keeping Church customs. So, Lutherans confess that we are saved by the grace of Christ alone, as the Scriptures teach. More
The Lord insists that we teach his Word with patience and clarity. We must take a firm stand on matters of doctrine, for people's souls hang in the balance. Such was the case for the Lutherans in Wittenberg. More
“They can't see the forest for the trees” is a saying that could easily be applied to the Church. What difference does it really make whether the Bible is carried into the sanctuary in just the right manner, so long as the Word of God is read? More
The kingdom of God is not in the doing of things but in believing what has been done. There is nothing wrong, of course, with following God's law and keeping his commandments. Christians keep God's commands but they do not believe that religious acts elicit God's mercy. God loves us with a perfect love. More
The Lutherans insisted that they were under no such obligation to satisfy God since we are not forgiven by our works but instead for Christ's sake alone. Justification with God is through faith in Christ's work, never by religious deeds. More
No one can remember or even be aware of all of his sins, so that sort of confession that demands a litany of every last sin is hopeless. Trying to do so will produce a miserable person, overburdened under the weight of both his sins and the Church's demands. More

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