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Showing posts from 2011

A sermon on John 3 by Martin Luther


1. God the Father loved us in his beloved Son before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4. Therefore, as Christ cannot perish, we cannot perish nor die, if we are in Christ and remain in him by faith, as Paul says to the Romans: "If God is for us, who is against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?" Rom. 8:31-32.
2. When John writes: "God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world," it is to be understood as referring to the time Christ preached in mortal flesh and taught the true way to salvation because of the command of the Father. For after this it is not said that he is sent; but that he will come to judge the world, as is often found in the Evangelists and the Apostles.

3. The flesh knows nothing whatever of judgment; just as it does not understand the righteousness of God. It neither sees nor has it any intimation that it is already condemned.

4. …

Just a reminder

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

From J.C. Ryle

Let us remember this in all our dealings with Christ about our own souls: We may draw near to Him with boldness and open our hearts to Him with confidence. He is a Savior of infinite compassion and loving-kindness. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quenchthe smoking flax. The secrets of our spiritual life may be such as we would not have our dearest friends know. The wounds of our consciences may be deep and sore, and require most delicate handling. But we need not fear anything, if we commit all to Jesus, the Son of God. We shall find that His kindness is unbounded. His own words shall be found abundantly true - "I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls." (Matt.11:29)

" Do I really have OCD- or am I an unbeliever?"

If you obsess about that, don't. It's further evidence that you do, indeed have OCD. But no amount of evidence will let you rest in that knowledge; your OCD will always find a way to disqualify whatever evidence you come up with. The only thing you can do is to follow the advice OCD patients have been receiving from their spiritual directors literally for centuries, back to the days when monks would come with such obsessions to their superiors- stop struggling and abandon yourself to God's arms.

Doing that is called "faith." It is never easy. It is a halting, stumbling, feeble process of false starts and failures for all of us- which can never finally fail as long as we don't give up.

And the very fact that we haven't given up proves that we have faith.

It's true that telling a person with OCD not to worry is like telling a blind man not to bump into things. But a blind man can get a cane, or a seeing eye dog, or somebody to take his elbow and guide hi…

From a letter from Martin Luther to Phillip Melanchthon

If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but
the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the
true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only
imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let
your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the
victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we
are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We,
however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new
heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that
through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the
sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to
kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think
such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager
sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.

--On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

Buttprints in the Sand (the Orthodox Version)

NOTE: There is another, disgustingly works-righteous and sub-Christian version of this parody out there. Stick to this one, composed by a Lutheran pastor of unimpeachable orthodoxy- one of my college theology professors at Concordia, River Forest. Accept no substitutes!

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen;
Saw footprints of my Lord galore,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then did stranger prints appear.
I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," said He in somber tone,
"My footprints do you see alone
Where you My promise did believe,
And victories you did receive.

"But when you struggled in My arm,
To live out your own righteous charm,
In your own pow'r you sought to strut,
Well, there I dropped you on your butt.

"As Christian daughter, Christian son,
'Tis true you have a race to run.
That race is only truly won,
When in My arms the w…

Luther on prayer

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.

Ecce Homo: A Good Friday Sermon

Ecce Homo!
John 19:5
Good Friday
March 21,2008

Anybody who's seen the movie Fat Man and Little Boy will remember the incident.

Dr. Michael Merriman and the other scientists of the Manhattan Project were excited. A critical experiment was about to be performed which, if successful, would prove that the atomic bomb was a practical idea.

A plutonium sphere was being surrounded by neutron-reflecting tungsten-carbide blocks, which reduce the mass necessary for the plutonium to go critical. That's just a fancy way of saying that they were putting that chuck of plutonium on a hair trigger, to facilitate a small-scale experiment it ordinarily would have taken a much larger and more dangerous chuck of the stuff to perform.

As the last brick was being lowered into place, everybody leaned forward in expectation. One of the scientists had been drinking a cup of tea. He set it down next to him- not realizing that he was putting it on the very edge of a chair.

The cup fell- and shattered. The man l…