“Taking up the cross is by nature something that causes pain. (“Such a cross and pain is necessary; it must be known as such and really bear down painfully, as does some great peril to one’s goods and honor.…” LW 51, 198.). It must not be self-imposed (as the Anabaptists and all the workrighteous teach); it is something that is imposed upon a person. (“It should be the kind of suffering which we have not chosen for ourselves, as the fanatics do in choosing some suffering for themselves to bear.…” LW 51, 198.)
The Need for It. We must be conformed to the image of the Son of God, Romans 8 [:29]. “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” II Timothy 3 [:12]. “In the world you have tribulation” [John 16:33]. Likewise, “You will be sorrowful; you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice,” John 16 [:20]. “If we share in [Christ’s] sufferings we shall also be glorified with him,” Romans 8 [:17]. “If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons,” Hebrews 12 [:8]. Otherwise, what is the purpose of so many comforting passages of Scripture? (Luther’s Works, v.43 p.183-184)
Art. XVII Das Christus ā Jüngstë tag Kome werde ein Richter der lebedige und das toten.
“The Christ will come soon on Judgement day to judge the living and dead.”
Es. (Isaiah) 66, v. 15 ; “For behold, the Lord will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire.
Acts. 17, v. 31 ; “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
[All of the pictures for this year’s posts are from an etching entitled “Augsburg Confession” by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) and found in the Royal Collection Trust.]