“The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and on your heart…”

Romans 10:8

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“The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and on your heart…”

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From  Pastor Mark Anderson’s Daily Devotional blog site

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Matthew’s gospel is arranged in five major sections. The data that Matthew uses from the life of Jesus is packed into these five sections. Each of the five sections has an A part and a B part. The A parts contains material setting forth things Jesus did while the B parts contain long discourses.  This is Matthew’s way of  ‘enfleshing’ the Word that is Jesus. Mark, Luke and John do not use this arrangement. The shape, order and sequence of the material in each of the four gospels reflect the fact that reports of  the works and words of Jesus have come to us through the church differently, in varying contexts, meeting unique circumstances. 

God has chosen to make Himself known in and through the messiness of history, of real events, becoming part of the story. The God of the Bible is no spiritualized ghost. How else could God come so near, be so close to us? For that, after all, is the great narrative of our faith. God is with us. This kind of retail, material sort of stuff puts off some people, even some Christian people. It’s not spiritual enough.

But God does not send us on an ethereal quest into the spiritual unknown in order to know Him. The Word of God is never disembodied. The Word of God was incarnate in the grace and grit of the man Jesus. That same Word comes, is embedded in paper and ink, gospel speech, church tradition, information, data, splashy baptismal water, the spongy bread and so-so wine of the Lord’s Supper. The Christian narrative is about the down-to-earth God keeping it real – for us.

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“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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“Back it up!”

“You just can’t make statements like that with backing it up with the Word!”

“Who do you think you are?!”

That’s right, actually.

I think I am nobody.

 But when the Word is attached to those statements they are true because of Christ Jesus and His forgiveness of your sins. Then the power of God (Romans 1:16) is attached to those statements (the two previous posts) about God and His Spirit being at work in you.

I could list a lot of other verses to back it up, and opponents could list lots of other verses from the Bible to back up their assertions that I am wrong and that there is something else we need to ADD to what Jesus has done for us.

No “3rd uses of the law” are necessary. No “inerrant Bibles” that drop directly from Heaven are necessary. No “decisions for Christ” are necessary. No “good works” are necessary. No “serious efforts” are necessary. No particular fingerprints of any particular church person need to touch you or the sacraments to make the whole thing “work” (be valid), either.   Those things may be  helpful from time to time in your life of faith (they may not be, also), but they are not needed IN ADDITION to Jesus.

“But the Bible says this, that, and the other thing about what I must be doing.”

Then who is right?

Jesus is right and He says that “your sins are forgiven for His sake”.

You see, therein lies the difference between a biblicist and one who trusts in the Word.

That Word is the forgiveness of sins. It is the person of Christ Jesus. It is by His authority that we can say (preach) those gospel sayings (truths) that trump the law sayings (truths).

 At times it can be useful to write a whole lot more about it. But it isn’t necessary. The Word will make it’s own way.  It will not return void.  And of that we can be sure.

“Your sins ARE forgiven, because of Jesus.” That death on that cross and that forgiveness… ARE… for you.

That is what is necessary. And that is ALL that is necessary for God (by His grace) to go to work in you. And you may not be a quick fix for the Lord. You and the world, and the devil, have spent quite a bit of time getting you to where you are right now. It may take the Lord the rest of your life to get you where you ought be, but be assured that He can handle the job…even when you get it in the way of it with all your “good motives and ideas”.

This was, this is, the great message of the Reformation. The fact that they (so many) would not accept it then, and that we (so many) will not accept it now, says a great deal about us and our desire to “stay in the saddle at all costs”.

Thanks for listening.

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Discussion of James Nestingen’s article

Pastor Mark’s class this week deals with an article titled ‘Scriptural Authority and the Lutheran Confessions’  by James Nestingen. It’s found in a book put out by the Word Alone folks titled ‘By What Authority?’ 

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It’s a very interesting class.   And it may ruffle a few feathers.  I don’t think anyone gets away unscathed in this one.

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We never shy away of feather ruffling if it is to promote Christ and His gospel for the forgiveness of sins.

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Listen in and feel free to comment pro or con or indifferent.

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click here > Scriptural Authority and the Lutheran Confessions

 

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Thanks to Jim Nestingen, Word Alone, and Pastor Mark.

Thanks to facebook for the photo of Jim.

 

 

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‘The Word’

Open Bible by revgerPastor by latteontheroad

Baptismal font by apvphotoscommunion - bread and wine by The Pink Rose

It’s not just the Bible, although the Bible proclaims Him.

He’s not a blot of ink on a piece of paper. Although that is one of the ways He has decided to make Himself known, and accomplish His will.

The Word (God Himself) is “living and active”. 

He’s not dependent on the messenger. He USES the messenger. He IS the message. He IS a force unto Himself. 

He calls the shots. He makes things happen. He forgives people’s sin, He raises from the dead. He is the Word.

Our authority to proclaim this Word comes from…Him, and Him alone.

Proclaim what Word?

What did He proclaim?  That He, Jesus, was God in the flesh, and that He forgives sinners their sins. That He takes all their sin unto Himself. That He will one Day make  ALL things new again. That He will raise you from the dead, and bring you unto to Himself for judgement. That the cross was the judgement. That He bought and paid for your sins there. That you are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

He has decided to use the Bible, preaching and teaching about Himself, and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion to make Himself known in His saving grace. To create faith in the hearer, reader, receiver.

He spoke all things into existence and He still does.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The Word… IS GOD.

He was around LONG before the Bible. Christ was around LONG before His preachers were. He was around LONG before the bread and wine and the water were.

He is not dependent on any of those things being perfect… (nor) acting perfect, or being pure. If you think that He cannot use ordinary earthly elements to accomplish His purposes  then you are sadly mistaken and misguided. That goes for the Book, that goes for the preacher (you and I included), and that goes for the water, the bread, and the wine. When the Word is attached to ordinary things and proclaimed in It’s purity, then they accomplish His perfect will.

The Lord our God made Himself know in an earthly man. A real man who needed to eat real food, who cried real tears,  and who shed real blood.

The finite contains the Infinite. That is the principle here. 

 Perfect preachers or perfect churches are not necessary. Pure bread and pure water are not necessary. Bibles without errors are not necessary.

When the Word is attached to all those things and the gospel is proclaimed in it’s purity, then those ordinary things become pure, infallible, perfect, Living Word of God…for YOU!

That is the doctrine of the Word to which Lutherans subscribe.

That is the truth of it.

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Any objections? (of course! There are ALWAYS objections!)

Go ahead. Let’s hear why something is needed in addition to Jesus.

Add-on’s  to Jesus seems to be our specialty!

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Thanks to flickr, revger, latteontheroad, apv photos, and The Pink Rose, for the photos.
 
 
 
 
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DON’T tamper with the Word!

Joel Osteen at Yankee Stadium, 04/25/09 by Gary Dunaier

Do we have the right, as Christians, to critique other Chrsitians as to their version of what the Christian faith is all about?

Absolutely we do!

Listen in to find out why this is important.

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Tampering with the Word #1                   Tampering with the Word #7

Tampering with the Word #2                   Tampering with the Word #8

Tampering with the Word #3                   Tampering with the Word #9

Tampering with the Word #4                   Tampering with the Word #10

Tampering with the Word #5                   Tampering with the Word #11

Tampering with the Word #6

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Tampering with the Word entire class

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Listen to one or two of them, or..if so inclined, take in the entire class.

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Thanks to flicker and Gary Dunaier, for the photo.

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Here’s Pastor Mark’s class that goes along with the last post…

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Click here for mp3 audio >  The Word Alone

 

 

 

 

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What exactly, is the Word of God?

Is it the Bible?   In the Beginning was the Word by tadeusz deręgowski

Is it preaching and teaching about Christ Jesus?

Is it Christ Jesus Himself?

Is it all of those things, and if so, what order of importance would you place the three ‘Is its…’ that I have listed above?

Or…is it something else, or some other combination of things?

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 Thanks to flickr and tadeusz deregowski for the photo.

 

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