Concerning Confession, Part 1

Scripture Text: John 20:21-23

Both the Small and Large Catechisms of Luther provide instruction about how to make confession. We teach that people must confess their sins before receiving Holy Communion. And they must be forgiven.

Concerning the Mass - Part 6

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:33-34

Holy Communion is a benefit for those gathered. It is not to be served to those who are not present or to unbelievers or the dead. When the Church gathers for worship, Communion is celebrated with proper order. Communion is not a potluck that feeds the belly.

Concerning the Mass - Part 5

Scripture Text: Luke 22:14-20

When you approach the altar, you ought to ask, “What am I doing here?” The answer, of course, is that your Lord has called you to his table. You might think that you are unworthy to eat from his hand. Nevertheless, he has called you — commanded you. Take. Eat.

Concerning the Mass - Part 4

Scripture Text: Hebrews 10:8-14

It was believed that the Mass was an additional sacrifice that atoned for people's sins—indeed, not just the sins of the living but the dead as well. Because the Church had come to accept that Christ's death only atoned for Original Sin...

Concerning the Mass - Part 3

Scripture Text: Acts 8:18-23

It is bad enough when people who know better turn a blind eye to the truth. It is worse when they do so for financial reward. This was a leading problem facing the Church, not only at the time of the Reformation but for hundreds of years prior to the reform efforts of the Lutherans.

Concerning the Mass - Part 2

Scripture Text: Ephesians 2:4-7

The Mass, or Holy Communion, was being bought and sold in the days of the Reformation. It was thought that one could purchase a Mass to be said for himself as a way of earning some merit with God.

Concerning the Mass - Part 1

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:27-32

Lutherans celebrate Holy Communion often—many of our churches communing each Lord's Day. We do so with order and reverence, beginning with the acknowledgment that we all sin...

Concerning the Marriage of Priests

Scripture Text: Genesis 2:18, 21-24

Then, he too took a wife, a former nun by the name of Katherine. She became everything God intended in marriage. She was in all ways Luther's helpmate and better half.

Corrected Abuses

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

But corruptions had begun to creep into the Church. Reform was badly needed so that people's hearts could again be comforted by the mercy of God in Christ.

Conclusion of Part One

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13

Since it has been shown that the Church Fathers also agreed with their teachings, it must be noted that the Wittenbergers were also in accord with the whole Church.

Concerning the Worship of Saints

Scripture Text: Romans 8:31-34

Lutherans encourage an old tradition: imitate those who imitate Christ. (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1) We hold up the lives of the saints as models of faith to be followed. But we do not venerate the saints or pray to them.

Concerning Good Works - Part 8

Scripture Text: John 15:1-5

The doctrine of justification by faith does not rule out doing good works. Rather, it shows us how we are able to do good works. Left to our own devices, we would not do those principal Christian works.

Concerning Good Works – Part 7

Scripture Text: James 2:14-22

Faith is completed or fulfilled in our good works. One may say that she believes in God but if she left her brother hungry or threadbare would anyone suspect she was a member of the family of God? This is not a living faith.

Concerning Good Works - Part 6

Scripture Text: John 3:16-17

Lutherans teach that God loves all people. Indeed, he loves us so much that he sent his own Son to bring eternal life to everyone who believes in the Son. (John 3:16) His limitless love brings peace and comfort...

Concerning Good Works - Part 5

Scripture Text: Philippians 3:1-11

Our works are always questionable. Does one do enough, for the right reason, and so forth? Therefore, the conscience cannot be consoled as it will debate with itself as to whether one has become good enough for God. However one may try, she will never be good enough.

Concerning Good Works - Part 4

Scripture Text: Romans 15:8-13

When one tries to reconcile God through good works, the conscience still trembles. One must put aside trust in self, and trust in Christ alone for righteousness before God. Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us to turn to ourselves and find peace.

Concerning Good Works - Part 3

Scripture Text: Acts 15:5-11

The doctrine of justification by faith is not a Lutheran innovation. We are not alone in our understanding of the Scripture. Even in the earliest days of the Church, it was taught...

Concerning Good Works - Part 2

Scripture Text: John 14:1-6

Faith trusts in Christ alone for salvation. This must be preached in all the churches since it is the teaching of Scripture and because this doctrine consoles Christians. (Rom 5:1)

Concerning Good Works - Part 1

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:14-16

The Lutheran emphasis on justification by faith alone was attacked by those who insisted on being cleared of their sins by religious acts alone. Those who insisted that God's favor was earned instead of freely given...

The Cause of Sin

Scripture Text: Romans 1:18-25

Yet, because of our human nature, we easily turn away from God, intent on having things our way. It is our wills that resolve to not do good; and this we call sin.

Free Will

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Lutherans confess that they are entirely dependent upon God's grace from start to finish... We may be a good citizen of earth, but will never be fit for the kingdom of God until we become people of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Concerning Christ's Return for Judgment

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

The theme of the Reformers in Wittenberg was faith. The standard of salvation and eternal life for Lutherans is always faith in God, not the lack of it nor of a reward for good works. On the Day of the Lord, Christ will return to judge...

Concerning Civic Government

Scripture Text: Romans 13:1-7

Scripture urges us to pray for those who rule over us. God has instituted good government. It is his servant for our good. The laws of the land, in so much as they agree with the Word of God, are to be obeyed.

Concerning Church Traditions

Scripture Text: Galatians 4:8-11

The human heart must constantly be reminded that Christ is the end of the law (Rom 10:4). There are “profitable” things that we retain, such as fasting during Lent, but to make fasting during this season a law and obligation is contrary to the gospel.

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