Luther

LUTHERAN THEOLOGY BRINGS JOY.

LUTHERAN THEOLOGY BRINGS JOY.

The heart and soul of Lutheran theology is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God loves you!! That’s good news. All of your sins are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This forgiveness is given to you for free. It is a gift of God for you.

When we trust in God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, we see God as He truly is, as a God of love. His creation is His gift for us. His Spirit gives us faith. His salvation is given to us freely. His eternal paradise is prepared for us. God is with us. God will never leave us.

Joy marks the life of the one who trusts in Christ. But joy isn’t always happiness. Sometimes life is full of trials (crosses) that we must face. Evil is real. Sin has consequences. These things war against us. But even in these things, we know that God is with us. This is not some trite saying or nice thought. We know that God is with us in the midst of suffering, since He is revealed precisely through the suffering of Jesus.

The most important teaching of Lutheran theology is that God loves you with no effort, merit or work on your behalf. God loves you. He sent His only Son to die and rise for you. His love is fulfilled in the Gospel. That is good news and fills us with joy. God loves you for all of eternity. Freely. That will never change.

THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ONE OF REPENTANCE.

THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ONE OF REPENTANCE.

Luther’s 95 Theses begins, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Matt. 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” That doesn’t sound very exciting. Luther encouraged people to renew their Baptism every day. Christians are to daily die to the old Adam, their sinful nature. In his Large Catechism, Luther observed that Baptism “is nothing else than putting to death the old Adam, and after that the resurrection of the new man, both of which must take place in us all our lives, so that a truly Christian life is nothing else than a daily Baptism, once begun and ever to be continued. For this must be practiced without ceasing, that we ever keep purging away whatever is of the old Adam, and that that which belongs to the new man come forth.” Dying to self in order to rise with Christ is the daily reality of faith.

The focus is not on our dying or on our old Adam (sin). The focus is on the promise of resurrection in Jesus Christ. He is our life. He is our hope. He is our joy. Repentance is a turning away from self to Jesus. In Him is life and light. In Him is salvation and forgiveness. In Him is eternal life. Repent. You are His. Through Baptism. And this is true every day.

DIET OF WORMS.

DIET OF WORMS.

Yuck … How did Luther get so fat? Luther obviously didn’t stick to his diet. A Diet was an imperial meeting of the Holy Roman Empire. Official business was conducted that changed things throughout the empire. Luther was called to the Diet that took place in Worms, Germany. There, he was told to say he recanted of what he wrote and taught. Luther responded that he could not in good conscience deny his writings because they proclaimed the truth of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here I stand.

AUGSBURG CONFESSION

AUGSBURG CONFESSION

The Lutherans stood before the entire world and confessed. Given the opportunity to say what they believed, they freely and joyfully confessed the truth that God justifies sinners by grace, through faith, for Christ’s sake. The Augsburg Confession was read out loud on June 25, 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg. Written by Philipp Melanchthon, this document explained the faith of the Christian Church as taught by Luther in accordance with the Scriptures. Article IV contains the central confession of how God saves people. Read it. Especially Article IV.

FORGIVENESS IS FREE – BUT NOT CHEAP.

FORGIVENESS IS FREE – BUT NOT CHEAP.

Your sins have earned the penalty of death. Christ paid that price for you through His death. Salvation is not cheap — the Son of God gave up all things for you. Forgiveness is free. God gives you this salvation, which Christ earned, for free. Solus Christus. Through Christ alone.

Our life in Christ reflects this truth. Forgiveness is free. You are forgiven in Christ. This is true for you every moment of every day because of God’s promise in your Baptism. We are called to sacrifice everything to live our lives according to God’s will because of His love for us (Rom. 12:1). We are called to trust only in Christ: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

CRUX SOLA EST NOSTRA THEOLOGIA.

CRUX SOLA EST NOSTRA THEOLOGIA.

The Cross alone is our theology. God’s love is manifest in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. God’s love is fulfilled through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. With the New Testament, we proclaim Christ and Him crucified. Luther stated that the cross alone is our theology, echoing the words of Paul: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).

THE LORD’S SUPPER ACCOMPLISHES SOMETHING

THE LORD’S SUPPER ACCOMPLISHES SOMETHING

We believe Jesus is present because He promises to be. And when God is present, things happen. Either life or death, either blessing or curse, but be assured of this: something occurs when God is present. Jesus comes to us in His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins to all who trust in His Word. All who receive the Sacrament receive Christ’s body and blood. Those who receive it in faith receive the benefits given in Christ’s promise. Those who do not believe receive judgment.

BAPTISM SAVES

BAPTISM SAVES

God works through means. The Holy Spirit creates faith through the Word and the Sacraments. When ordinary water is combined with God’s Word and connected with His command, it does exactly what God promises it will do. It saves (Titus 3:4–7; 1 Peter 3:21). Through Baptism God forgives sins and gives the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptism joins you to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (Rom. 6:4–5). Baptism gives eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus (Col. 2:11–12). Baptism makes disciples (Matt. 28:19). These promises are for all people, young and old (Acts 2:39). These promises are fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus.  For you.

YOU STILL AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD’S LOVE

YOU STILL AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD’S LOVE

The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it” (Luther’s Works 31:57). God loves you for no good reason … except His goodness. Though you may be tempted to work to improve and be more liked or loved, God doesn’t wait for your improvement. He doesn’t even require it. He loves you. His love is what changes you from sinner to saint. His love sent Jesus to die and rise for you. His love gives you salvation in Christ freely. His love caused Holy Scripture to be written so that you might hear and believe in His love. His love washed you in Baptism. His love feeds you in the Lord’s Supper. His love makes you lovable. He loves you freely and fully. No strings attached.

Sola Scriptura. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Solus Christus.

SOLA SCRIPTURA.  SOLA GRATIA.  SOLA FIDE.  SOLUS CHRISTUS.

Sola Scriptura. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Solus Christus. Latin. Ironic, isn’t it? A movement that resulted in the liturgy and the Bible in our language (not Latin) is remembered by Latin phrases. By Scripture alone, by grace alone, by faith alone. Through Christ alone. Alone. Without your help. Without human tradition. Without anyone’s assistance. God acts alone through Jesus.

Scripture. Given by God. Through which we receive Christ. Grace. Given by God. Through which we receive Christ. Faith. Given by God. Through which we receive Christ. Through Christ alone. God gives us all these gifts because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. All good gifts come from God and benefit all those who believe. Through Christ alone.

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