#61 God Created Us and He Instituted Marriage For Us

For there it is, written in the first book of Moses: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’ ” [Gen. 1:27–28].

There it is; these are not my words nor those of any other man, but God’s Word. This is the way he created and ordained it, and he who will not believe it, let him leave it. Moreover, the daily birth and arrival of all men proves that God wants his creation and ordinance, the holy estate of matrimony, to be maintained, in that little men and women are born and begin to grow up every day.

So every single one of us must declare and confess that we have not made or created ourselves; nor can we do it, neither could our parents do it. Who, then? The almighty, eternal God, the creator of all things, who first created and ordained little men and women for the marriage estate, he created us too for this estate. For I must freely confess and declare that I was created a male child, another a female child; I must confess that I am not a stone or a stick, but rather born and created a human being, man or woman. No man in the whole world, from the first to the latest, can say anything else. The people, especially the papists, are still raging and fuming beyond all bounds against this glorious creation of God, as if it should not exist. And if it were in the pope’s hand and power to create men, it would surely not exist; for he would not create or allow a single woman to exist in the whole world. What would happen then? Human beings would pass away. For it is certain that nobody is born without a mother; but what is born comes from the mother. And just as Adam did not make himself, but was created by God, so all men must be created by God in the womb and there sustained and later be born with God’s help into the world. (“Sermon at Marriage of Sigismund von Luindenau, 1545Luther’s Works, v. 51, p.358-359)

Theology Summary Bible Class Pt. 18: The Human Nature is Enriched

In this lesson, we see that the divine attributes of Christ were communicated to His human nature so that it was enriched.  This happened at the incarnation.  Jesus is not simply a man who was endowed with super abilities from time to time.  According to Colosssians 2:9, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VIII:  12] We believe, teach, and confess also that the assumed human nature in Christ not only has and retains its natural, essential properties, but that over and above these, through the personal union with the Deity, and afterwards through glorification, it has been exalted to the right hand of majesty, power, and might, over everything that can be named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come [Eph. 1, 21].

26] Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature. However, this majesty He had immediately at His conception, even in His mother’s womb, but, as the apostle testifies [Phil. 2, 7], laid it aside; and, as Dr. Luther explains, He kept it concealed in the state of His humiliation, and did not employ it always, but only when He wished.

At the end of this lesson we looked at the distinction between Christ and believers.  At Christ’s incarnation, His human nature received the fullness of divine attributes.  Believers, prophets and apostles  and saints also receive gifts due to their union with Christ and according to His graciousness, but those gifts are limited and require reliance upon the Triune God.

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VIII:  72] But we believe, teach, and confess that God the Father has so given His Spirit to Christ, His beloved Son, according to the assumed humanity (on account of which He is called also Messias, i.e., the Anointed), that He has not received His gifts by measure as other saints. For upon Christ the Lord, according to His assumed human nature (because, according to His divinity, He is of one essence with the Holy Ghost), rests the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge [and of the fear of the Lord, Col. 2, 3; Is. 11, 2; 61, 1], 73] not in such a way that on this account, as a man, He knew and could do only some things, as other saints know and can do by the Spirit of God, who works in them only created gifts, but since Christ, according to His divinity, is the second person in the Holy Trinity, and from Him, as also from the Father, the Holy Ghost proceeds, and thus is and remains His and the Father’s own Spirit to all eternity, not separated from the Son of God, therefore (as the Fathers say) the entire fullness of the Spirit has been communicated by the personal union to Christ according to the flesh, which is personally united with the Son of God. 74] This voluntarily manifests and shows itself, with all its power therein, therewith and thereby [in, with, and through the human nature of Christ], so that He [Christ, according to His human nature] not only knows some things and is ignorant of others, can do some things and is unable to do others, but [according to the assumed human nature] knows and can do all things. For upon Him the Father poured without measure the Spirit of wisdom and power, so that, as man, He has received through this personal union all knowledge and all power in deed and truth. And thus all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Him, thus all power is given to Him, and He is seated at the right hand of the majesty and power of God.

Handout 1:  Second-Genus-.pdf
Handout 2:  Comm-of-Attributes-Application-WITHOUT-ANSWERS-b.pdf
Handout 2A:  Communication-of-Attributes-PAGE-3-ANSWERS.pdf
Handout 3: Jesus-and-Believers-for-Sept-23-2018.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class Pt. 17: The Mystery of Godliness

In this lesson, we begin to fill in page 3 of the Communication of Attributes sheet.  The left column lists a Scripture passage which presents an attribute of the divine nature of Christ, while the right column gives an attribute of the human nature of Christ.  How do we speak about these attributes which both belong to the one person?  In this lesson, we see that the Scriptures ascribe each attribute to the whole person.

How do we speak about these divine and human attributes in the Christ when they contradict?  The Scriptures teach that the Christ, who is both true God and true Man, did not always and fully make use of his divine attributes.  Thus, we applied the teaching from last week concerning Christ’s state of humiliation and state of exaltation.

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VIII:  20] On account of this personal union, which cannot be thought of nor exist without such a true communion of the natures, not the mere human nature, whose property it is to suffer and die, has suffered for the sins of the world, but the Son of God Himself truly suffered, however, according to the assumed human nature, and (in accordance with our simple Christian faith) [as our Apostles’ Creed testifies] truly died, although the divine nature can neither suffer nor die. …

26] Hence also the human nature, after the resurrection from the dead, has its exaltation above all creatures in heaven and on earth; which is nothing else than that He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, and yet did not lay aside His human nature, but retains it to eternity, and is put in the full possession and use of the divine majesty according to His assumed human nature. However, this majesty He had immediately at His conception, even in His mother’s womb, but, as the apostle testifies [Phil. 2, 7], laid it aside; and, as Dr. Luther explains, He kept it concealed in the state of His humiliation, and did not employ it always, but only when He wished.

Handout 1:  Comm-of-Attributes-Application-WITHOUT-ANSWERS-b.pdf
Handout 1A:  Communication-of-Attributes-PAGE-3-ANSWERS.pdf

#60 Christians Live Sanctified Lives Within Marriage

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4).

This is a sermon concerning the holy estate of matrimony which is highly necessary, especially among Christians, that all men may know what the holy estate of matrimony really is and where it comes from, so that we shall not go on living so casually from day to day, like the heathen and dumb brutes who neither ask nor think about these things, but simply go on interbreeding and cohabiting promiscuously. No, among Christians, it must not be so; but rather as St. Paul says in I Thess. 4 [:3–5], “This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from immorality; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God.”

Therefore Christians should live in sanctification, not like swine and animals, nor like the heathen, who neither regard nor honor this estate. There is much to preach concerning this holy estate and divine ordinance of marriage, for it is the oldest of all estates in the whole world; indeed, all others are derived from that estate in which Adam and Eve, our first parents, were created and ordained and in which they and all their God-fearing children and descendants lived. (“Sermon at Marriage of Sigismund von Luindenau, 1545(Luther’s Works, v. 51, p.357-358)

Bible Study on the Liturgy on September 2 2018

Once a year, I explain the order of the Divine Service which is used in the Lutheran Church.  According to the Book of Concord,  “1] Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among 2] us, and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, save that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns, which have been added 3] to teach the people. For ceremonies are needed to this end alone that the unlearned 4] be taught [what they need to know of Christ]”  (AC XXIV, The Mass).

This study walks through the parts of the Divine Service and explains their purpose and use.

Handout 1:  Aid-to-understanding-the-order-of-worship-in-the-Lutheran-Church.pdf
Handout 2:  Liturgy-Study-for-Sep-2-2018.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class Pt. 16: Attributes and States

After a brief overview of the personal union of Christ and the communication of attributes, this study began with a test which asked the person to determine which genus applied to specific Bible passages on the handout.  Although some Bible passages clearly demonstrated only one genus, more often than not, two or even three applied.  This should not be surprising.

1 John 1:7 states, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.”  This passage teaches from the first genus that the blood of the human nature is the blood of the person Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  According to the second genus, the blood of the Christ possesses the the divine power to cleanse from sins.  And, finally, according to the third genus. the one saving activity of the Christ includes both natures working together conjointly.

The last part of this study examined the state of Christ’s humiliation and the state of Christ’s exaltation according to Philippians 2:6-11.  In the state of humiliation, Jesus Christ did not always and fully make use of His divine attributes.  He allowed Himself to suffer and die to take away our sins.  In the state of exaltation, Jesus fully exercises His divine majesty.

Handout 1 :  Communication-of-Attributes-August-26-2018.pdf
Handout 2A:  Comm-of-Attributes-Application-WITHOUT-ANSWERS-b.pdf
Handout 2B:  Comm-of-Attributes-Application-PAGE-1-ANSWERS.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Study, Part 15: Communication of Attributes

The Christ, our promised Redeemer, has both a divine nature and a human nature united in one person.  This union of two natures in the one Christ is called the personal union.  We must speak in a way so that the difference between the natures is maintained, but we must not divide the personal union nor allow one nature to hinder the presence of the other nature.

The Idiomaticum Genus – Christ has two distinct natures, human and divine, each of which has its own essential attributes, functions, and activities.  The attributes, functions, and activities of either may be ascribed to the entire Person.

The Maiestaticum Genus – When the Son of God assumed the human nature, He imparted and communicated to it divine majesty, glory, and attributes.  However, the human nature does not impart its attributes to the Divine nature so as to limit or diminish it in any way.

The Apotelesmaticum Genus – Whatever the Savior did and still does to save sinful mankind may not be ascribed to either of His natures exclusively, but must be ascribed to both natures conjointly.

[Note: Due to technical difficulties, the audio of this Bible study was not recorded.]

Handout 1: Communication-of-Attributes-August-26-2018.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Study Pt. 14: The Human Nature and the Personal Union

This study continues with the testimonies to Christ’s Divine nature by looking at the Scriptural accounts which speak of Jesus as “the Son of God” and describe Him as “(only) begotten.”   The heavenly Father bears witness that Jesus is His Son in Psalm 2:7 and in the words of our baptism(Mt 28:19).  When Jesus’ enemies bore witness that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God(Jn 5:18), they knew what that term meant-“…But (He) also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (Jn 5:18).  The word, “begotten” (Jn 1:14, 3:16, and 5:26) bears witness to the divine nature, as well.

The Scriptural testimonies to the human nature of Christ declare that He is “flesh and blood” and “like His brethren” (Hebrews 2:14-17 and 4:15).  It speaks of “the days of His (Jesus’) flesh” in which He suffered(Heb 5:7-10). There are also certain names which show forth the human nature of the Christ.  Some of those names are: “Son of Man” (Dan 7:13, Mat 1:1), “seed” or “offspring” (Gen 3:15, Fen 22:18, Gen 28:14, and 2 Sam 7;12), and “firstborn” (Mt 1:25, Col 1:15,18, and Rom 8:29) and others.

The Christ, our promised Redeemer has both a divine nature and a human nature united in one person.  This union of two natures in the one Christ is called the personal union.

Handout 1:  The-Christ-August-26-2018.pdf

#59 The Noble Work of Parenthood

There is no nobler work than that of being a parent, a preacher, or a magistrate. If you are a husband, a preacher, or a magistrate, learn not so say: Oh, if I were that fellow; he has the silver chain. Rather look to the station to which you have been called. If you are a preacher, a husband, a magistrate, you do not do what you do as a human work. There Peter has nailed the pope’s hands to the cross, so that I need preach nothing but the Word of God. The preacher teaches the church and parents teach their children; they guide the family in upright conduct and command that which is God’s commandment. A master does not say: Commit adultery, etc., but rather: Do no injury to me or to others, in order that all things may be governed as of God. Likewise a magistrate does not command stealing, but what is beneficial to the city and the common welfare. Thus we may know with certainty that it is a divine work and that this is God’s Word. And nobody should undertake to do anything unless he knows with certainty that he can say: Here is the Word of God. A servant should think in this way: I am not obeying a man, but God. It is not the parents who are honored by their children, but God, Christ. Likewise, if you despise parents, magistrates, preaching, you are really despising God. The pope preached the opposite; he preached that children should leave the parental home and go into the monastery; husbands even deserted their wives. The Anabaptists are also preaching something different and new. Whenever you hear me, you hear not me, but Christ. I do not give you my baptism, my body and blood; I do not absolve you. But he that has an office, let him administer that office in such a way that he is certain that it comes from God and does everything according to the Word of God, not according to our free will. Very much needs to be preached concerning this to check the abuses which the devil has introduced. When everything that is said and done is said and done in accord with God’s Word, then the glory of Christ and God will be done to all eternity. (Luther’s Works, v. 51 , p.298)