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19 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Happy Friday!

  2. Jean says:

    “Therefore, when the devil disturbs your conscience, and tries to bring despair to your heart by saying: ‘Have you not learned that one must be pious?’ then answer courageously and say: Yes, you are right; I am a sinner, that I have known before; for this article, called the forgiveness of sins, has taught me this long ago. I am to be pious and do what I can before the world; but before God I am willing to be a sinner, and to be called nothing else, that this article may remain true, else there would not be forgiveness or grace; but it must needs be called a crown of righteousness and of merits. Therefore, although I feel nothing but many and great sins, yet they are no longer sins; for I have for them a precious panacea and drug which takes away the power and poison of sin and wholly destroys it. It is this word, ‘Forgiveness,’ before which sin disappears like stubbles before the fire. Without it no work, suffering, or martyrdom avails against the smallest sin. For without forgiveness sin is and remains pure sin, which condemns us.”

    – Martin Luther, Sermon on Matt 9:1-11.

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    “The Apostles’ teaching:–We do not, it is true, have Christ’s own Apostles standing before us to teach us about Him. But let there be a greater vivid gratitude for the wonderful thing that we do possess; we do possess, in the Gospels and the Apostolic writings, the vivid teachings of Our Lord and of his disciples. And if only we could shake the cloud of familiarity away from those Holy Scriptures, we would find them leading us vividly to the feet of Our Lord, listening to Him, seeing Him, just as those who knew Him so well on the soil of Palestine saw and heard Him. We have indeed the Apostolic witness to the Lord in the Scriptures–so marvellously vivid–if only we would pause and realize again what a wonderful treasure we there have. A treasure that is to use–so that those of us who teach the Christian faith do not only teach the facts of it, but bring home to our hearers how very vivid and wonderful those facts are. And so that all who learn the Apostles’ teaching are filled with a sense of wonder about it. Throughout the whole of our Church, let the hold of the Apostles’ teaching upon us, in the Scriptures and set out so gloriously in the Creeds, renew its hold.”

    +Michael Ramsey

  4. John 20:29 says:

    Not raised as a church kid (my mother didn’t want me indoctrinated as she had been as a P.K.), I was blessed to experience – be fully immersed in the “old man” – life as a self absorbed, self justified sinner for the first 15 years of life and, thus, then fully experience the instant reality of passing from death into life when John 3:16 brought me to face the God of my grandparents as an incredible, loving, life giving God… I know many have covered similar ground and every once in awhile I have to remind myself of the Truths in Jean’s and Dr. Duane’s posts… and I wonder why… why these holy miraculous truths get crowded aside by the pressures of modern life…. I suspect we’re going to need to focus on them in the days ahead – dunno

  5. Owen says:

    Thank you very much, to Jean and Duane…

    “–so that those of us who teach the Christian faith do not only teach the facts of it, but bring home to our hearers how very vivid and wonderful those facts are”.

    ….and how vivid and wonderful this fact is…

    ” ‘Forgiveness,’ before which sin disappears like stubbles before the fire”

    So very well said.

  6. Descended says:

    As it is said

    Familiarity breeds contempt

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A quick disclaimer. My comments are not about The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Church of England or about “gay sex”. The linked article is about the archbishop failing to state if gay sex is sin.

    But this comment caught my eye – “He added: ‘I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century… ”
    Using this statement as a guide to determining biblical standards I wonder if everything is up for 21st century review? Are we in the process of withholding judgment on unrepentant adultery and adulterers until we can determine if God has had a change of mind in the 21st century?

    My opinion – the good archbishop has confused societal standards as being biblical standards.

  8. John 20:29 says:

    #7 seems to be a whole lot of that going on… up and down the line…
    FWIW – I think that God will either raise up among us some Luthers and Calvins again or we are coming up to the end of all of this – trying to avoid theological buzz words ?

  9. Jean says:

    A word from out east:

    “I ask you to note how the centurion signified that Christ is able not only to overcome death as if it were a slave but is also able to command it as its master. For in saying, ‘”Come,” and he comes,’ and ‘”Go,” and he goes,’ the centurion expressed this: ‘If you should command my servant’s end not to come upon him, it will not come.’

    Do you see how the centurion believed? For what was later to be made known to all – that Christ has power over both death and life, and that He leads down to the gates of hell and brings up again – is already made clear here by the centurion….But nevertheless, though he has such great faith, he still accounted himself to be unworthy. Christ, however, signifying that the centurion was worthy to have Him enter into his house, did much greater things, marveling at him and acclaiming him and giving him more than he had asked. For he came indeed seeking for his servant bodily healing, but he went away, having received a kingdom. See how the saying had already been fulfilled, ‘Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added to you.’ For because the centurion showed great faith and lowliness of mind, Christ both gave him heaven, and added to him the health of his servant.

    And not by this alone did He honor him, but also by indicating upon whose casting out he is brought in. For now from this time forth, Christ proceeds to make known that salvation is by faith, not by works of the Law. And this is why not to Jews only but to Gentiles also the gift so given shall be proffered, and to the [faithful of the] latter, rather than to the [unbelieving of the] former.”

    John Chrysostom, 349 – 407 AD, Archbishop of Constantinople

  10. JoelG says:

    That is outstanding Jean thank you. I marvel at this story and its implications.

  11. It sounds as though Chrysostom would have signed on to article 4 of the augsburg confession.
    I don’t like the terminology or designation ‘east’ with these guys – they were of the church catholic at a time that there was no east and west.People like John Chrysostom belong as much to the Lutherans as say the EO.

  12. Tim says:

    recommendations for best hymnals… for song and devotional purpose. ?? … thanks much

  13. John 20:29 says:

    Spinning off of #11 somewhat, as I read these words written so long ago from the leader of the Church – a time so foreign to the Church in 2017… Chrisostom is (obviously) teaching one of the vital overarching truths of the person of Jesus Christ – I think that there are still teachers today with the same messages for the Church, but they are drown out by the white noise of the personality boys (I do not think those personality pastors are all people of evil intentions BTW)
    As the saying goes, we’ve got a situation and yet I am hopeful that the tide is turning because…
    Everyone who comments here seems to know hat this lack of focus on the attributes of the triune God is seriously eroding the strength of the Body of Christ in a time when we’re overtly under attack again by

    Presumptuous of me, I know… but I believe it. ?

  14. John 20:29 says:

    Inter Varsity used to have a pretty good handbook – probably non existent today..

    .why do I keep posting comments from this fire tablet that keeps interrupting my train of thot with its wacky spell correct?I

    God keep all close

  15. Jean says:

    Hi Tim,

    I admit I am biased, but I am amazed at the content packed into the Lutheran Service Book (i.e., hymnal). The table of contents is available here:

    For daily devotional reading, the Treasury of Daily Prayer is unmatched in my opinion:

    For teaching the faith to new Christians and children, the Small Catechism is a succinct and completely orthodox exposition of the Christian faith:


  16. Tim says:

    Thanks Jean.

  17. JD says:

    I have a few hymnals which are all useful to some extent. The online Cyber Hymnal is most helpful giving author and story notes.

  18. JD says:

    Tim #12
    I have a few hymnals which are all useful to some extent. The online Cyber Hymnal is most helpful giving author and story notes, along with sometimes crude midi music.

  19. JD says:

    Stumbled upon this site due to my need to research Christmas music yearly, which lead to my fascination with the Coventry Carol and its profound use of the Picardy Third.

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