Thursday, October 28, 2010

impure obedience

Hence, even though the converted and believing [in Christ] have incipient renewal, sanctification, love, virtue, and good works, yet these neither can nor should be drawn into, or mingled with, the article of justification before God, in order that the honor due Him may remain with Christ the Redeemer, and tempted consciences may have a sure consolation, since our new obedience is incomplete and impure.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

for the sake of troubled hearts

In order, therefore, that troubled hearts may have a firm, sure consolation, also, that due honor be given to the merit of Christ and the grace of God, the Scriptures teach that the righteousness of faith before God consists alone in the gracious [gratuitous] reconciliation or the forgiveness of sins, which is presented to us out of pure grace, for the sake of the only merit of the Mediator, Christ, and is received through faith alone in the promise of the Gospel. In like manner, too, in justification before God faith relies neither upon contrition nor upon love or other virtues, but upon Christ alone, and in Him upon His complete obedience by which He has fulfilled the Law for us, which [obedience] is imputed to believers for righteousness.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Monday, October 25, 2010

22 Pentecost

+ Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost +
October 24, 2010
God, be merciful to me, a sinner!
1. What spirit brings us to this point in time? Why go to church? (article)
a. The pride of a Pharisee: either I’m basically a good person, or at least I’m not like those people.
b. The humility of the sinner: nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling! No odious comparisons allowed.
2. As we hear God’s Word now, what spirit prevails?
a. The spirit of Cain – impenitence
b. The spirit of penitence – the prayer of Christians, the Divine Service
3. How will we go home today and one day to our eternal home?
a. Still burdened by self-justification, cast out and condemned. What a tragedy not to see my sin, therefore no Savior, and therefore no need for preachers of the cross.
b. Like a little child, unburdened, innocence restored, dare to laugh and sing

God's mercy

poor sinful man is justified before God, that is, absolved and declared free and exempt from all his sins, and from the sentence of well-deserved condemnation, and adopted into sonship and heirship of eternal life, without any merit or worth of our own, also without any preceding, present, or any subsequent works, out of pure grace, because of the sole merit, complete obedience, bitter suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Christ alone, whose obedience is reckoned to us for righteousness.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Friday, October 22, 2010

What is Islam?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Is Islam a Religion?
Vijay Kumar writes:
A recent Tennessean article mulled about the legitimacy of Islam as a religion in relation to the disputed Murfreesboro mosque, but never defined either "legitimate" or "religion" so came to fatally flawed conclusions.

The word "legitimate" has several relevant meanings, one of them being "according to law." Every fundamental of Islam stands diametrically opposed to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.

Islam opposes separation of church and state; the First Amendment of the Constitution requires it.

Islam seeks to eradicate freedom of religion; the First Amendment defends it.

Islam suppresses freedom of speech; our First Amendment guarantees it.

Islam strips man of the right to trial by jury, due process, and freedom from self-incrimination; our nation's forefathers bled and died to preserve these precious rights, memorialized in our Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments.

Islam commands cruel and unusual punishments; our Eighth Amendment forbids them.

Islam proclaims all men slaves to Allah and to Islamic leaders; our supreme law abolished slavery and involuntary servitude with the Fourteenth Amendment.

In short, Islam is the single most authoritarian, oppressive, and consummate enemy to our cherished God-given rights and freedoms, guaranteed by our Constitution, that this nation has ever faced.

That is not a "religion;" that is a political totalitarianism whose ultimate stated goal is to wipe actual religion from the face of the Earth, and make every knee bow to Islamic hegemony and to Islam alone. Islamic imperialism is infinitely more dangerous than Nazism and Communism combined. Nazism was defeated in less than twenty years of its creation, and Communism was in power less than 70 years, but Islamic imperialism and hegemony has been with us 1400 years and has consumed innumerable nations, cultures, and civilizations.

Islam does not recognize Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, or Taoism to be legitimate religions, and it considers Judaism and Christianity to be failed, imperfect, and corrupt religions--even though they all predate Islam, and themselves defined the very concept of "religion." Such is the arrogance of Islam's worldview of its own supremacy.

The word "religion," according to Cicero, comes from relegare, "go through again, read again," and "consider carefully," and it correctly implies strongly a bond to the collected wisdom of man about his relation to a supreme being and the universe, and his responsibility to his fellow man. This tradition of religious wisdom goes back thousands of years in many civilizations worldwide.

Islam contributed no such wisdom to mankind. Its purported religious wisdom was plagiarized from the actual religions it disdains, and was arrogated to the purposes of violent conquest, slavery, looting, and totalitarian authority over others. It isn't accidental that the very word "Islam" means "submission," nor that its punishment for renouncing Islam is death.

The fact that the Quran itself is a political document is not open to argument: it is the political constitution of Saudi Arabia, where Islam came into being as a political and military force.

Islam's trail of violence, terrorism, and conquest throughout its history tells any reasonable person that it has become imperative to study and evaluate Islam and Arab imperialism objectively, empirically, and critically. Such analysis is not bigotry; it is simply empirical deconstruction, using reason, observation, and the scientific method.

The people protesting the building of the mosque in Murfreesboro are protesting because they are the most informed members of the community, who have actually studied the subject and know with unshakable certainty the truth: Islam is not a religion; Islam is totalitarianism masquerading as religion.

Vijay Kumar, a long-time resident of Nashville, recently ran for United States Congress from Tennessee's Fifth Congressional District in the Republican Primary.

cure for what?

Komen for the Cure Donated $730K to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2009 is reporting that the The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation donated $730,000 to Planned Parenthood in 2009.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


For conversion is such a change through the operation of the Holy Ghost in the intellect, will, and heart of man that by this operation of the Holy Ghost man can accept the offered grace. And, indeed, all those who obstinately and persistently resist the operations and movements of the Holy Ghost, which take place through the Word, do not receive, but grieve and lose, the Holy Ghost.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Means of Grace

For since we receive in this life only the first-fruits of the Spirit, and the new birth is not complete, but only begun in us, the combat and struggle of the flesh against the spirit remains even in the elect and truly regenerate men; for there is a great difference perceptible among Christians not only in this, that one is weak and another strong in the spirit, but each Christian, moreover, experiences in himself that at one time he is joyful in spirit, and at another fearful and alarmed; at one time ardent in love, strong in faith and hope, and at another cold and weak.

69] But when the baptized have acted against their conscience, allowed sin to rule in them, and thus have grieved and lost the Holy Ghost in them, they need not be rebaptized, but must be converted again, as has been sufficiently said before.

72] This doctrine, therefore, directs us to the means whereby the Holy Ghost desires to begin and work this [which we have mentioned], also instructs us how those gifts are preserved, strengthened, and increased, and admonishes us that we should not let this grace of God be bestowed on us in vain, but diligently exercise it [those gifts], and ponder how grievous a sin it is to hinder and resist such operations of the Holy Ghost.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Monday, October 18, 2010

21st after Pentecost

+ Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost +
October 17, 2010
…a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Genesis 32:24.
What is wrong with me? Why am I having these struggles in my life? Will they ever go away? I’m getting weary of this struggle. Do any of these sentiments sound familiar? Once you have been in the new life of Christ more than a few months, you quickly realize a mysterious paradox or tension that makes us uncomfortable with ourselves, and tends to pull us to extremes. Despite our desire and many attempts to prematurely resolve this tension, our life of faith needs to be seen as a gracious struggle in Christ.

1. The struggle takes place in a context of grace.
a. We overemphasize our struggle. Our efforts, our hours of prayer, our
dollars given, our years of bible study, and service add up to the blessing of God.
b. This life can be seen as a gracious struggle. Jacob’s struggle as one left alone.

2. The life of grace never comes without a struggle.
a. We overemphasize grace – Christianity is easy! Struggle and suffering do not belong here.
b. This life can be seen as a gracious struggle. Israel = one who struggles with God! His vision of God comes slowly, painfully and mysteriously. After a long night’s struggle, the man is revealed to be more than a man. With a dislocated hip, Jacob painfully holds on, crying out for blessing. Even after God’s blessing, Jacob is named “Israel” and continues to live in a gracious struggle with God. Though Jacob has seen God, God still remains a mystery (Jacob’s request to know his name is never answered) and this God becomes known as the God of Israel, as Jacob builds an altar to the God of those who struggle.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Only with the Helper

From this, then, it follows that as soon as the Holy Ghost, as has been said, through the Word and holy Sacraments, has begun in us this His work of regeneration and renewal, it is certain that through the power of the Holy Ghost we can and should cooperate, although still in great weakness. But this [that we cooperate] does not occur from our carnal natural powers, but from the new powers and gifts which the Holy Ghost has begun in us in conversion, 66] as St. Paul expressly and earnestly exhorts that as workers together with Him we receive not the grace of God in vain, 2 Cor. 6:1. But this is to be understood in no other way than that the converted man does good to such an extent and so long as God by His Holy Spirit rules, guides, and leads him, and that as soon as God would withdraw His gracious hand from him, he could not for a moment persevere in obedience to God.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

40 Days in East Tennessee

Longtime abortionist Gary Boyle lives in Northeast TN where he and his business partner Wesley Adams, along with their wives, own and operate the Bristol Regional Women's Center, an unlicensed abortion facility. The couples also own and operate similar abortion facilities in both Nashville and Charleston, SC.
Dr. Boyle was arrested on October 2, 2010 after pointing a loaded gun at pro-life protesters participating in a peaceful vigil in front of his Charleston abortion facility. The handgun held 15 rounds and Dr. Boyle was charged by local police for having illegally pointed the weapon at peaceful protesters.
Unfortunately, Dr. Boyle has been released on a 25K bond and is free to continue his campaign ot eliminate as many unborn children as possible for as much money as possible. But clearly, Dr. Boyle has less and less peace about the gruesome practices which have financially enriched his family while leaving a poverty of heart, soul and spirit.
Please pray for the conversion of Gary and Leisa Boyle and their partners, Wes and Debra Jo Adams to soon join the ranks of former abortion practitioners who now promote respect and protection for the helpless unborn and their abortion-vulnerable mothers and fathers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

only the Holy Spirit

Reason and free will are able to a certain extent to live an outwardly decent life; but to be born anew, and to obtain inwardly another heart, mind, and disposition, this only the Holy Ghost effects. He opens the understanding and heart to understand the Scriptures and to give heed to the Word, as it is written Luke 24:45: Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. Also Acts 16:14: Lydia heard us; whose heart the Lord opened that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. He worketh in us both to will and to do of His own good pleasure, Phil. 2:13. He gives repentance, Acts 5:31; 2 Tim. 2:25. He works faith, Phil. 1:29: For unto you it is given, in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him. Eph. 2:8: It is the gift of God. John 6:29: This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Monday, October 11, 2010

20 Pentecost

+ Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost +
October 10, 2010
This is a Trustworthy Saying (pistos ho logos)
I Timothy 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
I Timothy 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task
I Timothy 4:8-9 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
Titus 3:8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

1. since we died with Him" or "in view of the fact that we died with Him.” HOLY BAPTISM! We shall also live with Him. This verb combination conveys the picture that we have been entwined with the essence of Christ's life. We are identified with Him and because of His resurrection we share in and can experience the resurrection life of Jesus (walk in newness of life). Christ lives in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. His life is in us. He is our life. In this present life and the life to come, which is likely Paul's meaning in this passage.
2. "If" means "If, as is the case, we are persevering..." Endure (5278) (hupomeno from hupó = under + méno = abide or remain) means literally to remain under but not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope. Hupomeno was a military term used of an army’s holding a vital position at all costs. Every hardship and every suffering was to be endured in order to hold fast, even as Paul was continually enduring "all things for the sake of those who are chosen that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Ti 2:12) The present tense calls for continuous enduring
there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

On the other hand…
3. "If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us."
Note that the "If" (ei) means "If, as is the case, we are denying Him..

4. Amplified: If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

pray without ceasing

And after God through the Holy Ghost in Baptism has kindled and effected a beginning of the true knowledge of God and faith, we should pray Him without ceasing that through the same spirit and His grace, by means of the daily exercise of reading and practising God's Word, He would preserve in us faith and His heavenly gifts, strengthen us from day to day, and keep us to the end. For unless God Himself be our schoolmaster, we can study and learn nothing that is acceptable to Him and salutary to ourselves and others.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Friday, October 8, 2010

go reason!

For, first, although man's reason or natural intellect indeed has still a dim spark of the knowledge that there is a God, as also of the doctrine of the Law, Rom. 1:19ff, yet it is so ignorant, blind, and perverted that when even the most ingenious and learned men upon earth read or hear the Gospel of the Son of God and the promise of eternal salvation, they cannot from their own powers perceive, apprehend, understand, or believe and regard it as true, but the more diligence and earnestness they employ, wishing to comprehend these spiritual things with their reason, the less they understand or believe, and before they become enlightened and are taught by the Holy Ghost, they regard all this only as foolishness or fictions.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Thursday, October 7, 2010

we offer nothing

Namely, that in spiritual and divine things the intellect, heart, and will of the unregenerate man are utterly unable, by their own natural powers, to understand, believe, accept, think, will, begin, effect, do, work, or concur in working anything, but they are entirely dead to what is good, and corrupt, so that in man's nature since the Fall, before regeneration, there is not the least spark of spiritual power remaining, nor present, by which, of himself, he can prepare himself for God's grace, or accept the offered grace, nor be capable of it for and of himself, or apply or accommodate himself thereto, or by his own powers be able of himself, as of himself, to aid, do, work, or concur in working anything towards his conversion, either wholly, or half, or in any, even the least or most inconsiderable part; but that he is the servant [and slave] of sin, John 8:34, and a captive of the devil, by whom he is moved, Eph. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:26. Hence the natural free will according to its perverted disposition and nature is strong and active only with respect to what is displeasing and contrary to God.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The work of spreading the gospel where it is forbidden or hindered must be treated as an emergency. Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jesus, our Brother

Hence all the old orthodox teachers have maintained that Christ, according to His assumed humanity, is of one essence with us, His brethren; for He has assumed His human nature, which in all respects (sin alone excepted) is like our human nature in its essence and all essential attributes; and they have condemned the contrary doctrine as manifest heresy.
Solid Declaration, FC 1580

Monday, October 4, 2010

making distinctions

Therefore, in order that God's creation and work in man may be distinguished from the work of the devil, we say that it is God's creation that man has body and soul; also, that it is God's work that man can think, speak, do, and work anything; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17:28. But that the nature is corrupt, that its thoughts, words, and works are wicked, is originally a work of Satan, who has thus corrupted God's work in Adam through sin, which from him is transmitted by inheritance to us.
Solid Declaration, Formula of Concord 1580

19 Pentecost

+ Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost +
October 2, 2010
“Faith comes from hearing the Message”
In The Word

1. Living in the Word comes with a cost
a. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD
b. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts
2. Living in the Word comes with a reward
a. Your statutes are my heritage forever, the joy of my heart
b. As You sent Me, I have sent them into the world…I pray for those who will believe in me through their message…that the world may believe that you have sent me. “Only those who absolutely refuse to be saved will perish.”