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.

Picture:

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

For the Propagation of the Gospel.

O MOST Glorious Lord, magnify the joys of all the earth, to the end that faith, being spread abroad, it may fill the whole world, and that, according to the glory of Thy name, Thou mightest enable us to glorify Thy praise; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.   (Oremus, 1925, p.71-72).

#17 Second, the Church Is Recognized by the Holy Sacrament of Baptism

Second, God’s people or the Christian holy people are recognized by the holy sacrament of baptism, wherever it is taught, believed, and administered correctly according to Christ’s ordinance. That too is a public sign and a precious, holy possession by which God’s people are sanctified. It is the holy bath of regeneration through the Holy Spirit [Titus 3:5], in which we bathe and with which we are washed of sin and death by the Holy Spirit, as in the innocent holy blood of the Lamb of God. Wherever you see this sign you may know that the church, or the holy Christian people, must surely be present, even if the pope does not baptize you or even if you know nothing of his holiness and power—just as the little children know nothing of it, although when they are grown, they are, sad to say, estranged from their baptism, as St. Peter laments in II Peter 2 [:18], “They entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error,” etc. Indeed, you should not even pay attention to who baptizes, for baptism does not belong to the baptizer, nor is it given to him, but it belongs to the baptized. It was ordained for him by God, and given to him by God, just as the word of God is not the preacher’s (except in so far as he too hears and believes it) but belongs to the disciple who hears and believes it; to him is it given.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.151)

Picture:  The right pane of the Good Shepherd window includes a picture of the Holy Bible (German: Heilige Schrift.)

Book of Concord Bible Class #19: AC 28 The Power of Bishops

This Bible study examines Augsburg Confession article XXVIII. The Power of Bishops.

Quiz #18 (blue sheet):   Quiz-18-for-Feb-2-2020-Augsburg-Confession-Article-27.pdf
Overhead 1:  AC-articles-28b.pdf

For The Church, For the Parish Church 7

O GOD, Who dost call all men to Thee, and Who dost graciously receive all them that come: Vouchsafe Thy pardon to all those who here confess their sins; bestow the comfort of Thy Spirit on those who humbly and faithfully bring Thee their needs and sorrows; accept the praise and worship that are offered here; and grant that many may find Thee in this place, and finding Thee, be filled in soul and body with all things needful; and finally with all Thine own, be united in that communion with Thee which is eternal in the heavens, where Thou livest and reignest ever One God, world without end. Amen.  (Oremus, 1925, p.71).

#16 Where The Word of God is Believed, Professed and Lived is the True Church

Now, wherever you hear or see this word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do not doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica, “a Christian holy people” must be there, even though their number is very small. For God’s word “shall not return empty,” Isaiah 55 [:11], but must have at least a fourth or a fraction of the field. And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s word cannot be without God’s people, and conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s word. Otherwise, who would preach or hear it preached, if there were no people of God? And what could or would God’s people believe, if there were no word of God?

This is the thing that performs all miracles, effects, sustains, carries out, and does everything, exorcises all devils, like pilgrimage-devils, indulgence-devils, bull-devils, brotherhood-devils, saint-devils, mass-devils, purgatory-devils, monastery-devils, priest-devils, mob-devils, insurrection-devils, heresy-devils, all pope-devils, also Antinomian-devils, but not without raving and rampaging, as is seen in the poor men mentioned in Mark I [:23–26] and 9 [:17–29]. No, he must depart with raving and rampaging as is evidenced by Emser, Eck, Snot-nose, Schmid, Wetzel, Bumpkin, Boor, Churl, Brute, Sow, Ass, and the rest of his screamers and scribes. They all are the devil’s mouths and members, through whom he raves and rampages. But it does them no good. He must take his leave; he is unable to endure the power of the word. They themselves confess that it is God’s word and Holy Scripture, claiming, however, that one fares better with the fathers and the councils. Let them go their way. It is enough for us to know how this chief holy possession purges, sustains, nourishes, strengthens, and protects the church, as St. Augustine also says, “The church is begotten, cared for, nourished, and strengthened by the word of God.” But those who persecute and condemn it identify themselves by their own fruits. (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.150-151)

Picture: The sheaf of wheat is a symbol of the unleavened wheat bread used in the Lord’s Supper.