‘Brother Martin Speaks…’

Martin Luther said of the Anabaptists of his day:

They view baptism the way a cow looks at a new gate.”

 They cannot imagine anything that  is beyond their His Blood Shed and Body Broken for Me!own nose. (I threw that last part in)

Martin Luther didn’t think too highly of those that would deny us the assurance that the good Lord Himself was trying to give us.

 Look at the way we are. One could surmise that it is precisely because of that old Adam and Eve who still lives within us, that our Lord instituted the sacraments. He knew exactly where we would want to go if left to our own devices.

Take a look at any mega-church (although the phenomenon can be seen anywhere…Lutheran churches not withstanding). That’s where we go when left to our own devices. Bigger, bigger, better, better, more entertainment, more of me, more of my “doing”, more of my comfort zone. The constant need to prove my worth, if not to God, then to others and to myself.

“This is my body…this is my blood…broken and shed for you.”

That is the only worthiness that I need. He alone is worthy. He gives His worthiness to me, totally apart from anything that I can do, say, think, or feel.

This is where I return to when I feel unworthy, day after day (I return to my baptism as Luther said). I return to the Lord’s supper. It is there that I am accepted. It is there that I am forgiven. It is there that I am declared worthy. It is there where the last will and testament is read, and lo and behold…I am included! It is there that I recieve a full share of the inheritance.

We also recieve these gifts in the preaching and teaching of His Word, and in the words of Christian encouragement spoken between the brethren.

But the sacraments are something tangible. Something that we can actually see, feel, touch, smell, and taste.

These things, along with God’s Word of Promise (we mustn’t forget that!) are not rabbit’s feet that we rub like some superstitious pagans. These things carry God’s Promises when we excercise faith in that  “what God promises to do, He will do.”

So I say, break down the ‘gates of your own making’, and imagine that God can, and will act for you, not because of you and your worthiness, but rather in spite of you and your worthiness. Believe that He can not only live inside your heart, but that accompanied by His Word, He can also be present in the life giving waters of baptism, and in the life giving bread and wine of communion. 

In His Holy, Loving, and Forgiving Name, Jesus Christ our Lord.

             – Steve M.

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3 Responses

  1. I think the real problem here is that most contemporary churches and believers do not have or see any real connection to something like the genuine ministry of the word AND sacraments. It was only when seriously started to look at Paul’s guidance here in 1 Corinthians 10 (and not just 1 Corinthians 11, as is so often the case) that I begun to realize that the early church’s understanding of this issue (virtually lost today) is absolutely essential to our fellowship, but try expressing this in a modern context! You have touched upon something vital here, my friend. Let’s seek to open a great truth, that many may indeed find grace in time of need.

  2. Howard,

    Once again, your perspective on the issue is dead on and covers the topic from an angle I had not previously noticed. Paul’s views in 1 Corinthians 10 are not normally attended when this topic comes up.

    But, as Paul says, Christ has given us a “supernatural drink and supernatural bread” with which we are to be sustained.

    These days folks think we are fools when we speak like this.

    What else is new?

    Thanks much Howard!

    – Steve

  3. […] of Internet Monk and frequent commenter Steve Martin puts it this way: This is where I return when I feel unworthy, day after day (I return to my baptism as Luther […]

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