On the need to be “re-Baptized”



Also titled, “Faith“:

Or  … > faith (downloadable mp3)

This one (below) on becoming more “religious and spiritual” is a good one, also:




Thank you, Pastor Mark.

Job’s Hope



Pastor Mark’s homily for the 2nd Wednesday in Advent:


 click here> Job’s Hope




Thank you, Pastor Mark.


And thanks to flicker and ohhh….snap!, for the photo.








“When it comes to God, nothing is in our hands”



A portion of Pastor Mark’s class this past Sunday. He dealt with “free-will”, faith, and manipulating God to fit in with how “we do things”, down here.


– – –17 min.


…or the downloadable file:


click > Pastor’s class 8-25-13




Thank you, Pastor Mark.


And thanks to flickr, and zenitmanaic, for the photo.



Differing views on what ‘faith’ is



Quite an interesting and informative class on how differing Christian traditions view ‘faith’.

In this class, Pastor Mark is focusing mostly on the differences between the Lutheran understanding, and the Roman Catholic understanding.


click here   The understanding of ‘faith’ differs for Lutherans and Catholics>>



Thanks to Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and Sobibor, and ff137, for the photos.




Not “the centered life” – but “hidden in Christ”


You’ve heard it said:

1. Faith gives power for works.

2. Faith reveals what God wants you to do.

To the contrary:

“Firstly, it is usual to regard the relation between faith and works – and for that we can now also say, between what God does and what man does – in the first instance as a relationship between power and performance. Faith is supposed to give the power for works. This way of speaking requires to be very critically examined. The basic relation of faith and works isnot the communication of power for works, but the communication of freedom for them – that is, freedom to do the works in their limitedness as works and therefore also in the limitedness of the powers that are at our disposal for them. Just as faith too does not, though it is easy to misunderstand it so, primarily receive the revelation of what is to be done; but faith gives the freedom to perceive the right, because faith assigns works to their due place” 1


 1. “… faith … is not the communication of power for works, but the communication of freedom for them….”


Faith is not a psychological push to do good works. In other words, faith is freedom from having to do good works, now that Christ has done it all, so that I don’t have to deal with sin, death, and the devil. I am free to be myself, living for others.


2. “… faith …does not …receive the revelation of what is to be done….because faith assigns works to their due place.”


 Where is Christ working in the world and in my life? We are told that if we live “a centered life,” we will be able to see how the work we “do everyday contributes to God’s work in the world.”2

And yet real life doesn’t seem to work out this way. The life I live is ambiguous and broken. Where is God in our lives and in the larger world? We cannot dial up a list of what God is doing.

How do Lutherans sort this out? Faith is hidden. Apart from Word and sacraments, Christ is hidden. Contrary to the popular Bible Camp song – you cannot tell Christians by their love – and every attempt to do so leads to pride, hypocrisy, or despair.

To think that we can identify where God is working in our lives and in the larger world is a temptation. Luther frequently cited 2 Cor 11:14: “Even the devil disguises himself as an angel of light.” And Paul, when pressed by his opponents, declared:

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Cor 4:3-4).

Like being humble, we all know that if you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it. All of which is to say that we live by faith, not by sight, by forgiveness, not “by seeing how God is sending me to do God’s work” (See footnote 2, #49). We trust him to know how to build his kingdom. Let God be God.3


1Gerhard Ebeling, “The Necessity of the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms,” Word & Faith (London: SCM, 1963), p. 404. 2See “Centered Life: An Initiative of Luther Seminary” and the following survey statements:

#44: I can easily see how the work I do everyday contributes to God’s work in the world.

•#47: I see how the tasks of my every day work connect with God’s work.

 •#49: Each day, I am able to see how God is sending me out to do God’s work.

3 What about bearing fruit? That will have to be dealt with in another post, in which we would take up 1 Cor 4:3-4 more extensively.


Thanks to CrossAlone-Lutheran-District .




Luther on the Holy Spirit creates faith


 Martin Luther by hallaw4“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.  This knowledge and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith” (LW 35:370-71).

“I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. . . . In this Christian church he daily and abundantly forgives all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and on the last day he will raise me and all the dead and will grant eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ” (Small Catechism, BC, Tappert 345).

“The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and it is not doubts and opinions that he has written on our hearts but assertions more sure and certain than life itself and all experience” (LW 33:24).

“In short, enthusiasm clings to Adam and his descendants from the beginning to the end of the world. It is a poison implanted and inoculated in man by the old dragon, and it is the source, strength, and power of all heresy, including that of the papacy and Mohammed.  Accordingly, we should and must maintain that God will not deal with us except through his external Word and sacrament. Whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from such Word and sacrament is of the devil” (Smalcald Articles III/VIII/9-10; BC Tappert 313).


    This is a sermon that carries on with those quotes from Luther:

 >>> Luther’s-explanation-of-the-3rd-article-of-The-Apostle’s-Creed


I put a link to this sermon in a comment I made last week on The Gospel Coalition’s site, and the blog stats show that it was very popular. Not that that matters..

The angels in Heaven rejoice over just ONE who hears, and believes.


Thanks be to God! 

And that is not to say that the good folks over there (The Gospel Coalition) don’t already have faith. I’m sure they do.

Shoot, there may even be some in the congregation where I worship who have it also!






Thanks to CrossAlone Lutheran District, for the quotes.

Thanks to Pastor Mark for the sermon.

And thanks to flickr and hallaw4, for the photo.






The Roman Catholic view of ‘faith’ vs. the Lutheran view of ‘faith’

The full class is now posted (below) in mp3. 

St Peter's Basillica , Rome by James Mans                  

 The actual class starts about 5 min. into #1 (thanks to my Christian brother Brent’s lengthy questions)  😀

Views on ‘faith’ #1          Views on ‘faith’ #6

Views on ‘faith’ #2          Views on ‘faith’ #7

Views on ‘faith’ #3          Views on ‘faith’ #8

Views on ‘faith’ #4          Views on ‘faith’ #9

Views on ‘faith’ #5

Views of ‘faith’ – the entire class


I should have titled them Views of ‘faith’, but it’s late and I’m not going to fix it now.


Thanks to Pastor Mark Anderson.

And to flickr and James Mans,  for the photo.



Schatztruhe, Reichsburg Cochem - Cochem Castle, Treasure Chest by destinatio

 …Faith, Emotionalism, Anabaptists, Works Righteousness, Infant Baptism.

All this and more are touched upon in this audio selection delivered by Pastor Mark Anderson.


click here >  FAITH


There’s  plenty here to get your hackles up, or get your head nodding in approval…or both!

Let us know what made an impression on you, either good…or bad.





“I Believe that I Cannot Believe…”


Can one come to believe in God by his or her own strength, effort, will, or reason?

Can you size Him up and make a decision for Him? Can you choose to make Him your ‘personal Lord and Savior’?


Find out what Luther said about it, here: 

click here>  Strength-and-Effort-to-choose-Jesus


 ( it starts out a little fuzzy but clears up after 15 seconds – if you can give this one 10 minutes of your time, you will not regret it )  


More so worth seeing (hearing) again, and again





 Yeah…but… what about my good works!?”