Blessed Exchange

September 28, 2009

After the sadness I have felt as the results of the ELCA’s recent actions I have tried to find solace in God’s wonderful mercy and grace. Thinking about the “blessed exchange” I found this quote from Dr. Luther. If this can’t get you eyes off of your problems and on God nothing can.

From a sermon of Dr. Martin Luther…

Yesterday we began to speak about the baptism of Christ and said that he accepted it from John for the reason that he was entering into our stead, indeed, our person, that is, becoming a sinner for us, taking upon himself the sins which he had not committed, and wiping them out and drowning them in his holy baptism. And that he did this in accord with the will of God, the heavenly Father, who cast all our sins upon him that he might bear them and not only cleanse us from them through his baptism and make satisfaction for them on the Cross, but also clothe as in his holiness and adorn us with his innocence.

Is not this a beautiful, glorious exchange, by which Christ, who is wholly innocent and holy, not only takes upon himself another’s sin, that is, my sin and guilt, but also clothes and adorns me, who am nothing but sin, with his own innocence and purity? And then besides dies the shameful death of the Cross for the sake of my sins, through which I have deserved death and condemnation, and grants to me his righteousness, in order that I may live with him eternally in glorious and unspeakable joy. Through this blessed exchange, in which Christ changes places with us (something the heart can grasp only in faith), and through nothing else, are we freed from sin and death and given his righteousness and life as our own.

Luther, M. (1999, c1959). Vol. 51: Luther’s works, vol. 51 : Sermons I (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (51:III-316). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.


Then what is a pure heart? – Martin Luther

September 15, 2009

I was checking another Luther quote and started reading the whole section and found this jewel.
Then what is a pure heart? In what does it consist? The answer can be given quickly, and you do not have to climb up to heaven or run to a monastery for it and establish it with your own ideas. You should be on your guard against any ideas that you call your own, as if they were just so much mud and filth. And you should realize that when a monk in the monastery is sitting in deepest contemplation, excluding the world from his heart altogether, and thinking about the Lord God the way he himself paints and imagines Him, he is actually sitting—if you will pardon the expression—in the dung, not up to his knees but up to his ears. For he is proceeding on his own ideas without the Word of God; and that is sheer deception and delusion, as Scripture testifies everywhere.
What is meant by a “pure heart” is this: one that is watching and pondering what God says and replacing its own ideas with the Word of God. This alone is pure before God, yes, purity itself, which purifies everything that it includes and touches. Therefore, though a common laborer, a shoemaker, or a blacksmith may be dirty and sooty or may smell because he is covered with dirt and pitch, still he may sit at home and think: “My God has made me a man. He has given me my house, wife, and child and has commanded me to love them and to support them with my work.” Note that he is pondering the Word of God in his heart; and though he stinks outwardly, inwardly he is pure incense before God. But if he attains the highest purity so that he also takes hold of the Gospel and believes in Christ—without this, that purity is impossible—then he is pure completely, inwardly in his heart toward God and outwardly toward everything under him on earth.

Luther, M. (1999, c1956). Vol. 21: Luther’s works, vol. 21 : The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (21:33). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

This Is Why We Lutherans Are Lutherans!

September 15, 2009

This is one of my favorite scenes from the fantastic movie Luther (2003)

This is why we Lutherans are Lutherans!  

"I Was Wrong" 

Scene takes place during a morning worship service…

That's how I saw God.  

Punishing us in this life,  

committing us to Purgatory after death,  

sentencing sinners to burn in hell 
for all eternity.

But I was wrong.

Those who see God as angry...

do not see Him rightly...

but look upon a curtain as if a dark storm cloud 
has been drawn across His face.

If we truly believe that Christ is our Savior...

then we have a God of love,

and to see God in faith 
is to look upon His friendly heart.

So when the devil throws your sins in your face

and declares that you deserve death and hell, 
tell him this...

"I admit that I deserve death and hell. 
What of it?

"For I know One who suffered 
and made satisfaction in my behalf.

"His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God.

Where He is, there I shall be also."


Actual Reference…

“Anyone who regards Him as angry is not seeing Him correctly, but has pulled down a curtain and cover, more, a dark cloud over His face. But in Scriptural language “to see His face” means to recognize Him correctly as a gracious and faithful Father, on whom you can depend for every good thing. This happens only through faith in Christ.”

Luther, M. (1999, c1956). Vol. 21: Luther’s works, vol. 21 : The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (21:37). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.


Christian By God’s Grace…

December 1, 2007

Lutheran By  Choice 

In Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation in May 1518 Thesis 26 states…

The law says, “Do this,” and it is never done.
Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.

After you meditate on these words a while it puts our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in proper perspective. We can do nothing. God in His mercy has done everything. All praise to God!