Posts Posted in November 2023View All Posts >>

The power of the keys binds things in heaven, not just on earth. When a “door” is unlocked or locked on earth in the name of Christ, it is done in heaven too. More
So we confess that our holiness, our works of contrition, is insufficient for the remission of sins, while faith in Christ merits forgiveness of sin... More
It is not enough to be sorry for our sin. Nor is it enough to do good. For we cannot assist ourselves. Instead, we must avail ourselves of the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. More
Although we should certainly “fear, love, and trust God” (Small Catechism), these things, including the fear of God (attrition), do not earn grace. More
You cannot reason or work your way into God’s grace. God’s grace is a free gift, something that is given by him for you. More
Since the consequence of sin is death, it is no wonder there is the felt need to confess all sins. Perhaps, we might imagine, if we could confess them all, we might overcome death. More
“We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves” (Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness). More
The first step in repentance is being contrite. God does not desire sacrifices from us, in order to appease him (Psa 51:16). More
There is nothing confusing about the gospel when it is heard with the ears of faith. We confess that Christ has killed our sinful old nature through his own death on the cross. More
Our anxieties about sin may be managed on the surface with words and semantics, but when the test is applied in the heart, these matters turn out differently. More
Look to the Word. What is written? How far does God say that he hurls our offenses? “As far as the east is from the west,” is how far he removes our sins from us. More
The power of the keys is the clear charge of Christ to preach the gospel, to remit and retain sins, and to administer the sacraments. More
Around the time of the Reformation, there was endless quibbling in the Church about how and when things happened. More
Peace is only found in the grace of God. This is why Peter says, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” Who does this math? More
The doctrine of faith is no small matter, for true repentance depends upon faith. Repentance needs faith to believe that God is so merciful toward us that our sins have been forgiven for Christ’s sake. More
What are we to do but to turn again and again to Christ? The heart of this turning, this repentance, is faith. We believe that in turning from our sins to Christ, those sins are blotted out. More
God creates clean hearts within us. This happens when we are first, stricken in our consciences, and then, have faith that God will forgive us and make us righteous for Christ’s sake. More
Confession must lead to Christ—not to more and more confession. Christ is the focus, not ourselves. Therefore forgiveness must be the outcome of confession, not the tyranny of a guilty conscience. More
Only a foolish or crazed person would undertake the task of counting the hairs on his head. There are too many to count. More
The imposition of rules and regulations will change no heart. The Holy Spirit changes hearts. The crucified Christ draws people near. More
Our focus should be Christ, not our sins. One can spend so much time in introspection and the endless recounting of sin that Christ is lost in the shuffle. More
Confession precedes Holy Communion. We are to earnestly confess our sins and hear the words of absolution before receiving Christ. More
As Christ is known to us in the breaking of the bread, the early Church assembled to know Christ in his Supper, the Apostles’ teaching, prayer, and fellowship. More
Confession and absolution provide persons of faith with the regular assurance that their sins are forgiven because of what Christ has accomplished for them. More
People recoil at the idea of fearing God because they believe that God loves them. “Why should I fear someone who loves me?” they might ask. More
Holy Communion is not something that we do; it is something that God does for us. It is not an act or ritual that we perform; it is an activity of God that we receive. More
We have been talking about Holy Communion, Baptism, the Church, justification, and other matters but in all of these topics, we are actually considering faith. More
Jesus called the bread that he broke and gave to his disciples to eat, “my body.” He said of the cup, “This is my blood.” This is what we believe. More
This participation, as the Revised and English Standard versions translate the word, is a fellowship or, as the King James Version phrases it, a communion. More
God gives authority to people to speak and act in his name through Holy Baptism. The pastor seems to be the one using the water, and if that were all the pastor did then that would be all there was to see. More

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