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From a Christmas Day sermon by Martin Luther

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He who confidently believes Christ has accomplished these things (i.e., His substitiutionary life and death, and His resurrection from the dead, for that person) immediately, in the twinkling of an eye, possesses salvation.

All his sins and the reality of death and hell are removed. Nothing more than such faith is necessary to salvation. --Luther's Second Church Postil for Christmas Day (Titus 3:4-8)

From one scruper to another...

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You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.

--Martin Luther

Another one from Megan Smiih

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Came across this on YouTube today. You may recogize Sibelius's beautiful tune, "Finlandia." But it's the words that make this one for me.

Don't know why it's not sung more at funerals. I want it sung at mine.

For scrupulosity, baptism is an even better medicine than an SSRI!

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Another warble!

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Thought I'd share this rendition by the talented lady who calls herself "the Lutheran Warbler" of one of my favorite hymns- one especially useful when Satan and OCD cause us to focus on ourselves and what miserable excuses for Christians we are instead of on Jesus.

Repentance: 'I do not think that word means what you think it means'

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Keeping things in perspective

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Humorous though this post is, it is- as my Dad used to say- "kidding on the square." As Martin Luther liked to point out, a sense of humor- and proportion- is a powerful weapon against both OCD and the devil.


The bottom line, Part 2

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This has always been one of my favorite hymns. It's usually sung in the Lutheran church during Lent, but it's a powerful and moving reminder of the "bottom line" of our spiritual life any time of the year.

It's sung here by a talented young woman who calls herself "The Lutheran Warbler." You may recognize St. Paul's own confession in 1 Timothy 1:15: "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (NKJV).

May you be edified and blessed by this hymn, as I have been repeatedly over the years.

That prints in the sand thing: here's the biblical version!

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One of my college theology professors, Robert Schaibley, wrote this. Another, Dr. Steven Hein, posted it on Facebook. I hope you enjoy it. More to the point, I hope you see the problem with the other, more familiar version- and live your life by this one:

The bottom line

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From one of the greatest American theologians

Luther reminds us that those preachers who use the Law instead of the Gospel to effect sanctification are to blame for the paucity of sanctification and good works. --Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3:19

"Ecce Homo!"

John 19:5
Good Friday
March 21,2008
St. Mary's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Des Moines, Iowa

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 chunck 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…

'Have I repented enough?"

In Christ, even bad news can be good news

Here's a sermon by one of the finest preachers and theologians I know on a subject nobody wants to hear about. I know I don't. But I can testify from my own experience that it's true.We're often discouraged by the very thing that should prove to us that we belong to Jesus.

The Cross- not nonstop success and happiness and "victory-" is the mark of Christ's ownership. If the devil and the world crucified Jesus, what should we expect them to do to us, who belong to Him? On the other hand, why should they waste their time on those who are already theirs?

But God does the same thing in our lives that He did in Christ's- He turns the tables on the devil, the world and our flesh my using our very suffering for our good.

The story is told of a woman who burst into Luther's study one day demanding to know why God allows the innocent to suffer. He could have pointed out that none of us are actually innocent; that "all have sinned and fallen short of…

Dr. Ian Osborn on Scrupulosity