Book of Concord, Bible Class #22: Ap. IV Justification, part 2

This Bible study examines article IV. Justification of the Apology{Defense} of the Augsburg Confession.

Quiz #21 (grey sheet):   Quiz-21-for-Feb-23-2020-Apology-IV-continued.pdf
Overhead 1:  Overheads-for-Ap-IV-on-February-23-2020.pdf
Overhead 2: Apology-IV-Continued-Feb-23-2020.pdf
Handout: Scorecard-for-Apology-IV-b.pdf

#20 The Office of the Keys Do Not Belong to the Pope

You must pay no heed here to the two keys of the pope, which he converted into two skeleton keys to the treasure chests and crowns of all kings. If he does not want to bind or reprove sin, whether it be publicly or privately (as he really does not), let it be reproved and bound in your parish. If he will not loose, or forgive it, let it be loosed and forgiven in your parish, for his retaining or binding, his remitting or releasing, makes you neither holy nor unholy, since he can only have skeleton keys, not the true keys. The keys belong not to the pope (as he lies) but to the church, that is, to God’s people, or to the holy Christian people throughout the entire world, or wherever there are Christians. They cannot all be in Rome, unless it be that the whole world is there first—which will not happen in a long time. The keys are the pope’s as little as baptism, the sacrament, and the word of God are, for they belong to the people of Christ and are called “the church’s keys” not “the pope’s keys.” (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.153-154)

Picture: Office of the Keys

For Repentance. 2

WE know, O Lord Jesus Christ, that whilst Thou wast on earth, Thou didst every night water Thy couch with tears for us men: Grant us so to repent for our iniquities, that we may hereafter come to that place where all tears are wiped from all eyes: Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.    (Oremus, 1925, p.60).

For Repentance. 1

ALMIGHTY and Most Merciful God, Who didst bring forth a fount of living water for Thy thirsting people out of the rock: Bring forth tears of repentance from our hard hearts, that we may be enabled to bewail our sins, and through Thy mercy obtain forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.   (Oremus, 1925, p.60).

#19 Fourth, the Church Is Recognized by the Office of the Keys

Fourth, God’s people or holy Christians are recognized by the office of the keys exercised publicly.  That is, as Christ decrees in Matthew 18 [:15–20], if a Christian sins, he should be reproved; and if he does not mend his ways, he should be bound in his sin and cast out. If he does mend his ways, he should be absolved. That is the office of the keys. Now the use of the keys is twofold, public and private. There are some people with consciences so tender and despairing that even if they have not been publicly condemned, they cannot find comfort until they have been individually absolved by the pastor. On the other hand, there are also some who are so obdurate that they neither recant in their heart and want their sins forgiven individually by the pastor, nor desist from their sins. Therefore the keys must be used differently, publicly and privately. Now where you see sins forgiven or reproved in some persons, be it publicly or privately, you may know that God’s people are there. If God’s people are not there, the keys are not there either; and if the keys are not present for Christ, God’s people are not present. Christ bequeathed them as a public sign and a holy possession, whereby the Holy Spirit again sanctifies the fallen sinners redeemed by Christ’s death, and whereby the Christians confess that they are a holy people in this world under Christ. And those who refuse to be converted or sanctified again shall be cast out from this holy people, that is, bound and excluded by means of the keys, as happened to the unrepentant Antinomians.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.153)

Picture:  Beehive, A symbol of the unity of the communion of saints.

Book of Concord Bible Class #21: Ap. IV. Justification

This Bible study examines article IV. Justification of the Apology{Defense} of the Augsburg Confession.

Quiz #20 (pink sheet):   Quiz-20-for-Feb-16-2020-Apology-II-and-IV.pdf
Overhead 1:  Overheads-for-Ap-IV-on-February-16-2020.pdf
Handout: Apology-II-and-IV-for-Class-Handouts.pdf

21.5 – Teaching for Lenten Preparation

“…on this day(Ash Wednesday) the Church begins a holy season of prayerful and penitential reflection.”  The season of Lent is a 40-day season in which God’s baptized people dwell confidently upon God’s Word giving attention “to the holy sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  As we study God’s Word, we examine ourselves so that with repentant hearts we may practice self-denial and put away any obstacles to God’s grace that His kingdom may come.

All of this repentance, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is done with a specific goal in mind.  “…that we may come to Easter with glad hearts and keep the feast in sincerity and truth.”  That feast for us is the Lord’s Supper at the break of day on Easter morning.  On that sacred {Saturday} night we passover from sin and death to holiness and new life in the Resurrection of Our Lord.

Lent is nothing new to us.  Our entire Christian life is a daily drowning of the old man in our baptism that through Christ’s resurrection, we may live a new life and when our last day comes pass over from death to eternal life.

Our own Catechism acknowledges, “Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training” (Sacrament of the Altar).  Though we must constantly stress that it is faith alone which makes a person worthy, we should not disdain or at least not ignore the bodily preparation or discipline.

If you do choose to fast during Lent, understand that Christians do not fast to be like Jesus or to undergo some pseudo-religious suffering or discomfort.  Christians don’t fast to give up something sinful, just so they can pick it up again later.

FASTING IS DONE AS AN AID TOWARD REMEMBERING AND MEDITATING ON OUR LORD’S PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION.    We fast on Friday as a reminder that this is the day that our crucified Savior died.  We refrain from red meat as a reminder of his flesh that hung on the cross.      Prayer:  “Blessed Savior, on this day(at this hour) You hung upon the cross, stretching out Your loving arms.  Grant that all the peoples of the earth may look to You and be saved;  for Your mercy’s sake.  Amen”(Hymnal Supplement, p.30).

Collect for Lent

Merciful and everlasting God, who has not spared Your only Son, but delivered Him up for us all that He might bear our sins upon the cross, grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


For Christian Unity.

GOD our Father, Good beyond all that is good, Fair beyond all that is fair, in Whom is calmness and peace: Do Thou make up the dissensions which divide us from each other, and bring us back into a unity of love, which may bear some likeness to Thy sublime nature; grant that we may be spiritually one, as well in ourselves as in each other, through that peace of Thine which maketh all things peaceful, and through the grace, mercy and tenderness of Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (Oremus, 1925, p.72).

#18 Third, the Church Is Recognized by the Holy Sacrament of the Altar

Third, God’s people, or Christian holy people, are recognized by the holy sacrament of the altar, wherever it is rightly administered, believed, and received, according to Christ’s institution. This too is a public sign and a precious, holy possession left behind by Christ by which his people are sanctified so that they also exercise themselves in faith and openly confess that they are Christian, just as they do with the word and with baptism. And here too you need not be disturbed if the pope does not say mass for you, does not consecrate, anoint, or vest you with a chasuble. Indeed, you may, like a patient in bed, receive this sacrament without wearing any garb, except that
outward decency obliges you to be properly covered. Moreover, you need not ask whether you have a tonsure or are anointed. In addition, the question of whether you are male or female, young or old, need not be argued—just as little as it matters in baptism and the preached word. It is enough that you are consecrated and anointed with the sublime and holy chrism of God, with the word of God, with baptism, and also this sacrament; then you are anointed highly and gloriously enough and sufficiently vested with priestly garments.

Moreover, don’t be led astray by the question of whether the man who administers the sacrament is holy, or whether or not he has two wives.  The sacrament belongs to him who receives it, not to him who administers it, unless he also receives it. In that case he is one of those who receives it, and thus it is also given to him. Wherever you see this sacrament properly administered, there you may be assured of the presence of God’s people. For, as was said above of the word, wherever God’s word is, there the church must be; likewise, wherever baptism and the sacrament are, God’s people must be, and vice versa. No others have, give, practice, use, and confess these holy possessions save God’s people alone, even though some false and unbelieving Christians are secretly among them. They, however, do not profane the people of God because they are not known; the church, or God’s people, does not tolerate known sinners in its midst, but reproves them and also makes them holy. Or, if they refuse, it casts them out from the sanctuary by means of the ban and regards them as heathen, Matthew 18 [:17].  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.152-153)

Picture:  The left pane of the Good Shepherd window includes the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.  I-III. Love God, IV-X Love Neighbor

Book Of Concord Bible Class #20: Ap. II and IV

This Bible study examines article II. Original Sin and introduces article IV. Justification of the Apology{Defense} of the Augsburg Confession.

Quiz #19 (yellow sheet):   Quiz-19-for-Feb-9-2020-Augsburg-Confession-Article-28.pdf
Overhead 1:  Overhead-Page-3-of-handout-Ap-IV-1-7-in-Outline-Form.pdf
Handout: Apology-II-and-IV-for-Class-Handouts.pdf