Concerning Justification, part 9

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:23–26

The law is a good thing. It teaches us how to interact with God and with each other. The law also provides necessary restraint on the uncivil elements of society so that good order may be maintained.

Concerning Justification, part 8

Scripture Text: Matthew 7:25–27

The foolish person builds a house on sand. This should make me wonder about that beach house I have always wanted. Trying to live by the law is like owning a beach house.

Concerning Justification, part 7

Scripture Text: Titus 3:4–7

Why would one wonder whether they had fully earned or received God's grace? If it must be earned, is it grace? Wondering about such things is an indication that one does not understand the ways of God at all.

Concerning Justification, part 6

Scripture Text: Psalm 139:23–24

The Reformers were answering challenges from a church that really believed it was their own works that earned them eternal life. Take that in for a moment.

Concerning Justification, part 2

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:21–23

The defense of the doctrine of justification begins with a definition of terms. The revelation of God is understood easily by seeing it in its simplest functions.

Concerning Justification, part 1

Scripture Text: Romans 5:1–2

This is the foremost of the chief articles for the Lutherans. Justification touches every other article and doctrine in the Augsburg Confession and its Defense.

Concerning Christ

Scripture Text: John 20:24–28

Even a doubter like Thomas understood that Jesus is both God and man. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, or in the flesh. Thomas said that he would not believe Jesus was raised from the dead unless he saw him in the flesh.

Concerning Original Sin – part 17

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:14–16

Melancthon cut to the heart of the issue in this closing paragraph of his article defending the doctrine of original sin. The issue was truth. The Lutherans were convinced that they correctly believed.

Concerning Original Sin – part 16

Scripture Text: Genesis 3:14–19

Sin is a far more serious problem than most people realize or want to admit. In our day (at least in much of European and American societies), many people seem to think that if they ignore sin or call it something other than evil that it will go away.

Concerning Original Sin – part 15

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:5–10

As we have seen, part of the confutation or refutation of the Augsburg Confession was a disagreement with the Lutherans about what has been called, up until now, concupiscence. Today, Melancthon names it with the Greek word, "fomes."

Concerning Original Sin – part 14

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:27–30

It was not only those who penned the confutation who did not consider concupiscence, lust or the inclination and desire to sin, an actual sin in and of itself. Other Reformers thought the same thing.

Concerning Original Sin – part 12

Scripture Text: Psalm 116:12–13

This lengthy response to the confutation (and there is a good deal to go yet) is all to show that the Lutherans taught the same thing about original sin as the Scripture and the Church. Yet they wanted to be specific about what the lack of original righteousness means...

Concerning Original Sin – part 11

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 2:14–16

We too often consider sin something we do. It is more than what we do; sin is the reason we do the things we know to be sinful. We sin because we are full of sin.

Concerning Original Sin – part 9

Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:20–24

The original sinful nature that we are all born with must be drowned in baptism. Thereafter, since the flesh is so comfortable in its old clothing, there must follow a daily and even a continual putting off of that old self.

Concerning Original Sin – part 8

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:5–10

Not only did these two Church Fathers consider the image of God to be his nature, even Lombard, who was one of the scholastics whom the Lutherans cared little for (and this is putting it mildly), clearly stated the same.

Concerning Original Sin – part 7

Scripture Text: Genesis 1:26–27

Melancthon probably did not expect push-back on the doctrine of original sin, and so, he provided an article of a few sentences in the Augsburg Confession. As the Lutherans' opponents wished to quibble, Melancthon furnished them a far lengthier defense to chew on.

Concerning Original Sin – part 6

Scripture Text: Psalm 14:1–3

By means of reason, one may understand that without the doctrine of original sin, God must be considered rather foolish. Why would he send his Son to redeem people who were capable of redeeming themselves?

Concerning Original Sin – part 5

Scripture Text: Psalm 1:1–2

The Lutherans used the same terminology as the scholastics, at least when speaking of original sin, but they meant something else than the scholastics seemed to be saying. Scholasticism was a school of critical thinking in medieval universities that valued artful argument above all things.

Concerning Original Sin – part 4

Scripture Text: Ephesians 2:1–5

We discover that we are sinners from a very early age. Every one of us is known to walk in sin, and so, Scripture teaches that we are dead in our trespasses. This corruption of human nature skips no one.

Concerning Original Sin – part 3

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 3:18–21

One of the slogans of the Reformation was (and continues to be) “sola Scriptura.” Those Latin words mean “Scripture alone.” The idea behind that motto is that the Bible, the written word of God, may be relied upon as a sufficient guide and last word on truth


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