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MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS

A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH

http://www.httpcity.com/amightyfortress/index.html

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

623-334-8014; chemnitz@uswest.net

 

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

 

KJV Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

 

The Blind See and the Lame Walk

 

This Gospel lesson announces the Messianic reign of Jesus the Son of God, when Jesus tells the disciples of John about His role as the Savior of the world and the absolute necessity of believing in Him.

 

Apostates

Apostates (unbelievers who remain in the visible church) like to agonize about the “Messianic self-consciousness of Jesus.” Let me parse that term. It means, “Did Jesus really think He was the Messiah, or did His followers impose this view on Him?” A prime example of this treatment is the 1980s film, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” a wretched movie based upon the horrid novel by Nikos Kanzantzakis. The film is now being shown on cable TV.

 

[Kazantzakis first embraced Buddhism, but then rejected Buddha as a Messiah for an earlier stage in God's suffering struggle to evolve. He was then captured by Nietzsche and Karl Marx, although he rejected their strict, atheistic materialism in favor of Hegel's concept of the material evolving into the spiritual. Finally, he reconciled his commitment to eternal struggle with his asceticism, and devoted the rest of his life to contributing to Man's struggle to grow into God, not by physical conflict, but by his writing. He was the author of ten novels, ten dramas, five travel books, and assorted collections of letters, essays, and poems. He is best known for his novels Zorba the Greek, The Greek Passion (from which came the film He Who Must Die), The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, and The Last Temptation of Christ. From http://www.answers.org/Issues/Last_Temptation.html]

 

The American expression of this fad, which began in the 19th century, is often cloaked in the term “the mind of Christ.” This use of “the mind of Christ” is a clever way to turn the emphasis of the Bible from faith in Christ to faith in what apostates propose as the actual agenda of Jesus. They do not believe in Him and do not think He believed Himself to be the Messiah. Therefore, their sermons and books emphasize peace, social justice, political activism, government regulation. They believe the Kingdom of God to be heaven on earth, which we will realize once their program is completely established. The agenda was first set in the Social Service movement, which was renamed the Social Gospel, and it began in the 19th century, using this view of Jesus. Franklin Roosevelt’s administration was the first example of the Social Gospel being established through government programs. All of his new programs were drawn from the Social Gospel agenda.

 

The Federal Council of Churches turned into the National Council of Churches, both energized as the institutional arm of the Social Gospel movement. It is important to understand this in realizing why the mainline churches in the NCC are so radical. They believe with all their hearts that the Kingdom of God (their version) was the real agenda of Jesus, or at least it should have been. Not one of these leaders believes in Jesus as the Messiah, the true Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary.

 

This Gospel

In this lesson we have a powerful antidote to the dreams and illusions of the apostates. First of all, John sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus. John was in prison already and soon to die at the hands of Herod’s favorite dancing girl.

 

KJV Matthew 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. 5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. 11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

 

Naturally we get puzzled over John sending his disciples to ask Jesus about His true role. Didn’t John baptize Jesus, knowing Him to be the promised Messiah?

 

KJV Matthew 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

 

I think John sent his disciples because he knew he was facing death at any moment. He believed in Jesus as the Christ but also wanted assurance from the Savior. Then he would know that his work in preparing the people for the Messiah was not in vain.

 

If we suspect someone is a fraud, we do not ask him, “Are you really what you claim to be?” Frauds are good at posing in certain roles. If we suspect someone, we check him out with another person. For instance, when I had my tires replaced at a Shell station, the manager wanted to do all kinds of work on my transmission. I asked him some open questions on the phone and wrote down his responses. Then I phoned a transmission dealer and repeated the same phrases. The transmission dealer explained what the terms meant and said, “Whoever told you that is a liar or just incompetent.”

 

In contrast, when we trust someone and want more assurance, we are likely to ask him directly. For instance, I know a man who served in World War II in the Pacific. He used to be one of the first men out of the LST (Landing Ship Tank), carrying smoke generators to disguise their landing. I would not hesitate to ask him for details about his work in the Pacific theatre.

 

But imagine John’s role. God appointed him to be the final prophet before the coming of the Messiah. John’s ministry was foretold in Isaiah, one of the most important books of the Bible.

 

KJV Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: :7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

 

John baptized Jesus and spoke the truth to Herod. Then he was thrown into a dark prison, doubtless shut off from sunlight. In the isolation of a prison the mind is free to wander and speculate. The first temptation anyone would have is, “Could I be completely wrong? If this is God’s will, to proclaim the Messiah, then why am I facing death?” It is much easier to read about prophets than to be one.

 

So we could see John’s message through his disciples as a parallel to the father of the stricken child:

 

KJV Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

 

We should never forget that the cure for doubt is the Gospel and not human reason. Jesus’ response to John is Gospel.

 

Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

 

Jesus’ response is the fulfillment of another Isaiah passage:

 

KJV Isaiah 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

 

For the most part Jesus hid His divine nature. He grew up as an ordinary child in a normal family. He learned the work of His earthly father. He walked with His disciples in His earthly ministry. He ate food and drank water. Jesus did not perform miracles at every stop. When miracles (signs) were demanded, He denounced the lack of faith being shown. However, when doubts wavered He often did the unexpected, to strengthen the faith of the disciples.

 

We are tempted to say, “Three years with Jesus and they still doubted Him at times. They still were afraid of the future.” And how many years have we had with Jesus? The youngest child who worships with his family has had more years with Jesus. Some of us have had many decades, and still we have doubts. We still waver. America has a veritable mountain of Bibles and yet the typical American Christian will put up with any attack on the Scriptures from anyone wearing a robe: male, female, or mixed.

 

Jesus declared His divinity in unmistakable terms. He gave sight to the blind. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He commanded the lame to walk and they walked. He loosed the tongue of the mute. The deaf could hear again. The poor were hearing the Gospel.

 

Only God could perform these miracles. So Jesus in His response to John announced His divine power and His confession, “Yes, I am the promised Messiah.” John was able to face his beheading with that knowledge. He believed in Jesus and Jesus validated his faith in Him.

 

This confession of Jesus was also important for the disciples and followers of John. He had a great following at the time of his death; that is why Herod feared him. Instead of being disheartened, the followers of John could see that their hopes were being fulfilled before their eyes.

 

Jesus also said, 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

 

This word “offended” is badly misused today in English. Many times people think that must never be offended, have their feathers ruffled, for any reason. If their feathers are ruffled, they want them unruffled.

 

In this case, the verb comes from the word for the trigger mechanism in a trap. The skandalon (in Greek) was not a scandal or an offense, but a sensitive trigger to make a trap work.

 

Therefore, in this verse, “whosoever shall not be offended in me” means “whosoever shall not reject Me as Savior.” The death-trap in relationship to the Gospel means doubting Christ for any reason. Many people have said they stopped believing when they ran into an incurable illness in their family or themselves. Others find certain philosophies or religions more appealing to them, so they retain a sentimental attachment to Jesus but they do not believe in Him.

 

The mainline theologians are offended by the atoning death of Jesus. This matter comes closest to the meaning of “shall not be offended in Me.” For instance, one of our email friends read a book called Christus Victor, by Gustav Aulen. My liberal professor at Notre Dame loved the book because it tries to undermine the entire meaning of the atonement. How could God require the death of His Son? Isn’t that nasty? The book is clearly against traditional Christianity (without explicitly saying so) but it is never clearly in favor of a position.

 

I can get you to doubt something without giving you a replacement. I asked some children to reach into a brown paper bag. They were willing until I said something inside had teeth. Pretty quickly their imaginations kicked into 4th gear and every single one refused to reach in. So I pulled out a comb. I got them to doubt the safety of that ordinary looking bag by telling them what would make them think of danger.

 

That example is how apostates get people to doubt in the truth of the Scriptures. The Lutheran synodical leaders work the same way. They do not say, “Stop believing in the Word.” They say, “Get out your graph paper and chart your membership statistics. Read these helpful books from Fuller Seminary and our dear friend Waldo Werning.”

 

The unraveling of the synods is another cause for offense. One person wrote to me, “What’s left?”

 

I responded, “The Scriptures. The Book of Concord. Luther. Chemnitz. Gerhard. Chytraeus. The Means of Grace. Christ.”

 

When we speak of Christ, we must remember that the Gospel He brings is not limited by the failings of man. The truth of the Word remains God’s Word and belongs only to Him.

God brought many people to the Gospel during the Reformation and many people abandoned the Gospel just as quickly. This was not due to a weakness in the Gospel or in God, but because of people being offended in some way and turning away on their own.

 

The unfortunate tendency today is the fruit of the Flower Generation of the 1960s and 1970s. Anyone who works or relates to others will see this Flower Child response everywhere, especially because the Flower Children of that era have children of their own. (The curse was fulfilled when their mothers said, “I hope you have one just like you.”)

 

For them, the Gospel means always being forgiven for everything, without any mention of the Law or contrition. This attitude so permeates our society that anyone who thinks otherwise is an exception. Therefore, we see the following examples of being offended, because the Gospel has been reduced to forgiveness without the Law or contrition or faith:

1.     You cannot deny Holy Communion to visitors because it is withholding the Gospel from them.

2.     You must allow joint worship and communion with all confessions because we all believe in Jesus.

3.     You cannot speak about right and wrong.

4.     The pastor cannot discipline anyone because he is also a sinner. Therefore, I cannot be disciplined for anything by anyone.

5.     I cannot attend any church because all churches are full of hypocrites.

 

I have mentioned other ways in which people are offended by the Gospel, because it includes more than they wish. One pastor could not believe in the Six Day Creation. Now he is a minister in the United Church of Christ. One man argued against the immortality of the soul. One technical person said he could not accept the Christian faith rejecting a good man like Albert Einstein, because he admired Einstein.

 

This term “Gospel” can be used in two ways, as noted by the Book of Concord and Walther’s Law and Gospel. Sometimes we use “Gospel” to mean the complete message of the Scriptures, both Law and Gospel. If someone is called a Gospel preacher, it does not mean that he never mentions the 10 Commandments.

 

Jesus certainly taught the Law. The verse under consideration is both Law and Gospel.

 

The Gospel is:

6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

 

The implied Law is:

 

“You are not blessed but condemned to Hell if you let doubts and human reason lead to a rejection of Me.”

 

All the people who argue against the Law in the name of the Gospel are in fact offended by Christ. As Luther said, if we remove the Law, the Gospel is also removed. There is no reason for Christ if there is no Law.

 

How tragic that Christian News has aligned itself with the Universalists of Seminex and WELS by teaching that everyone is forgiven of their sins without faith!

 

The banner of Seminex was “Gospel reductionism.” Everything was Gospel, according to them. Everyone was forgiven (except Jack Preus). One early Seminex convention had this theme, “Free To Be.” As Paul Tillich, the famously adulterous theologian wrote, “The Courage to Be.” That was the message of the 1970s. We even had a band concert where the narrator said pompously, “Go. Be. But forgot no one.” I don’t know how anyone said those words without laughing.

 

Later, Seminex (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in Exile) ordained homosexuals and became the official seminary of the Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination for homosexuals and lesbians. Still later Seminex merged into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Now the LCMS is adopting the homosexual agenda of Seminex, under the conservative leadership of Al Barry and Herman Otten.

 

God is showing people what happens when the Law is removed, when people are promised that they are justified without faith. How hypocritical of Otten and the rest to denounce the results of their apostasy.

 

Not long ago I was digging in the front of the yard where the previous owners put down a fine gravel over a plastic layer. I found it irritating and tore as much as I could away. I like soil without the weed barrier. But then the weeds arrived with watering. I sprayed. I pulled. The weeds defeated me because the barrier was gone.

 

The Law will always ruffle our feathers. It is supposed to strike us, break our bones, humble us. No one has ever enjoying hearing the Holy Spirit work through the Law. But the answer is not to remove the ministry of the Law. The Law must remain as long as we are sinners, as long as we are alive. If this offends us, we are in grave danger of abandoning the Gospel in the name of the Gospel.

 

Original Sin,

Lutheran and Roman Catholic Quotations

 

Lutheran

"For this reason the catholic church preaches that little children ought to be baptized, because of original sin, concerning which that most holy man well exclaimed: 'I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.'"

[Chrysostom, Homily on Adam and Eve]

Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 250f. Cf. Weinrich article on term "Catholic" Genesis.

 

"And when, in two questions concerning the Virgin Mary, the limits set by the Scripture had already been exceeded, some began to contend in the schools that also the Virgin Mary had been conceived without original sin. Of this opinion Scotus later became the patron...But many, like Thomas, Bonaventura, Gregory of Ariminium, etc., at that time contradicted this opinion, because it was not only set forth without the Word of God and the testimonies of antiquity but it also conflicted with clear testimonies of Scripture."

Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 379.

 

"Good works are to be performed without any thought of merit, simply for the benefit of one's neighbor and for the honor of God; until the body, too, shall be released from sin, death and hell."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 151. Second Christmas Sermon Titus 3:4-8

 

"This is the situation with him: the greater his external restraint from evil, the greater his inward hatred of him who restrains. His character is in the scales; when one side goes up, the other goes down. While outward sin decreases, inward sin increases. We know from experience that those youths most strictly reared are, when given liberty, more wicked than young men less rigidly brought up. So impossible it is to improve human nature with commandments and punishments; something else is necessary."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 268. New Year's Day, Galatians 3:23-29

 

"Take heed, then, to embrace the message of these words presenting the love and kindness of God to all men. Daily exercise your faith therein, entertaining no doubt of God's love and kindness toward you, and you shall realize His blessings. Then you may with perfect confidence ask what you will, what your heart desires, and whatever is necessary for the good of yourself and your fellow-men. But if you do not so believe, it were far better you had never heard the message. For by unbelief you make false these precious, comforting, gracious words. You conduct yourself as if you regarded them untrue, which attitude is extreme dishonor to God; no more enormous sin could be committed."

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 146. Early Christmas Morning Titus 3:4-8

 

"Here our adversaries inveigh against Luther also because he wrote that 'Original sin remains after Baptism.'They add that this article was condemned by Leo X. But His Imperial Majesty will find on this point a manifest slander. For our adversaries know in what sense Luther intended this remark, that original sin remains after Baptism. He always wrote thus, namely, that Baptism removes the guilt of original sin, although the material, as they call it, of the sin, i. e., concupiscence, remains. He also added in reference to the material that the Holy Ghost, given through Baptism, begins to mortify the concupiscence, and creates new movements [a new light, a new sense and spirit] in man."

Apology Augsburg Confession, II. #35. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 115. Tappert, p. 104f. Heiser, p. 31.

 

"Also they teach that since the fall of Adam, all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost. They condemn the Pelagians and others who deny that original depravity is sin, and who, to obscure the glory of Christ's merit and benefits, argue that man can be justified before God by his own strength and reason."

Augsburg Confession, II. #1. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 43f. Tappert, p. 29. Heiser, p. 12.

 

"Also they teach that since the fall of Adam, all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost."

Augsburg Confession, II. Original Sin. #1. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 43. Tappert, p. 29. Heiser, p. 12.

 

"In reference to original sin we therefore hold nothing differing either from Scripture or from the Church catholic, but cleanse from corruptions and restore to light most important declarations of Scripture and of the Fathers, that had been covered over by the sophistical controversies of modern theologians."

Apology Augsburg Confession, Article II. #32. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 113. Tappert, p. 104. Heiser, p. 30.

 

"From these facts it appears that the ancient definition says precisely the same thing that we say, denying fear and confidence toward God, to wit, not only the acts, but also the gifts and power to produce these acts [that we have no good heart toward God, which truly loves God, not only that we are unable to do or achieve any perfectly good work]."

Apology Augsburg Confession, II. #23. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 111. Tappert, p. 103. Heiser, p. 30.

 

"Even the history of the world shows how great is the power of the devil's kingdom. The world is full of blasphemies against God and of wicked opinions, and the devil keeps entangled in these bands those who are wise and righteous [many hypocrites who appear holy] in the sight of the world. In other persons grosser vices manifest themselves. But since Christ was given to us to remove both these sins and these punishments, and to destroy the kingdom of the devil, sin and death,it will not be possible to recognize the benefits of Christ unless we understand our evils. For this reason our preachers have diligently taught concerning these subjects, and have delivered nothing that is new, but have set forth Holy Scriptures and the judgments of the holy Fathers."

Apology Augsburg Confession, II. #50. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Tappert, p. 106. Heiser, p. 32.

 

"And first, it is true that Christians should regard and recognize as sin not only the actual transgression of God's commandments; but also that the horrible, dreadful hereditary malady by which the entire nature is corrupted should above all things be regarded and recognized as sin indeed, yea, as the chief sin, which is a root and fountainhead of all actual sins. And by Dr. Luther it is called a nature-sin or person-sin, thereby to indicate that, even though a person would think, speak, or do nothing evil (which, however, is impossible in this life, since the fall of our first parents), his nature and person are nevertheless sinful, that is, thoroughly and utterly infected and corrupted before God by original sin, as by a spiritual leprosy; and on account of this corruption and because of the fall of the first man the nature or person is accused or condemned by God's Law, so that we are by nature the children of wrath, death, and damnation, unless we are delivered therefrom by the merit of Christ."

Formula of Concord, SD I. #5. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 861. Tappert, p. 509. Heiser, p. 236.

 

"Here we must confess, as Paul says in Romans 5:11, that sin originated [and entered the world] from one man Adam, by whose disobedience all men were made sinners, [and] subject to death and the devil. This is called original or capital sin."

Smalcald Articles, Third Part, I. #1. Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 477. Tappert, p. 302. Heiser, p. 142. Romans 5:11

 

"This hereditary sin is so deep and [horrible] a corruption of nature that no reason can understand it, but it must be [learned and] believed from the revelation of Scriptures, Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12ff.; Exodus 33:3; Genesis 3:7ff." [Scholastic errors listed below]

Smalcald Articles, Third Part, I. #3. Of Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 477. Tappert, p. 302. Heiser, p. 142. Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12ff; Exodus 33:3; Genesis 3:7ff.

 

"But the chief office or force of the Law is that it reveal original sin with all its fruits, and show man how very low his nature has fallen, and has become [fundamentally and] utterly corrupted; as the Law must tell man that he has no God nor regards [cares for] God, and worships other gods, a matter which before and without the Law he would not have believed. In this way he becomes terrified, is humbled, desponds, despairs, and anxiously desires aid, but sees no escape; he begins to be an enemy of [enraged at] God, and to murmur, etc. This is what Paul says, Romans 4:15: 'The Law worketh wrath.' And Romans 5:20: Sin is increased by the Law. [The Law entered that the offense might abound.']

Smalcald Articles, Third Part, II. #3. The Law. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 479. Tappert, p.303. Heiser, p. 142. Romans 5:20; Romans 4:15;

 

"In reference to original sin we therefore hold nothing differing either from Scripture or from the Church catholic, but cleanse from corruptions and re- store to light most important declarations of Scripture and of the Fathers, that had been covered over by the sophistical controversies of modern theologians."

Apology Augsburg Confession, II. #32. Original Sin. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 113. Tappert, p. 104. Heiser, p. 30.

 

"Why do so many people in our country fall in with the preachers of fanatical sects? Because these sects spread the glamour of great sanctity about themselves. Alas! man regards the works of God as trifling, but esteems the works of men highly. That is nothing but one of the sad results of man's fall into sin."

C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 372.

 

"Article XI is, as it were, the crowning summary of the entire Formula of Concord: God's universal decree of salvation conquers the consequences of original sin (I) but does not abolish the relative freedom which constitutes man's humanity (II)."

Wilhelm Maurer, "Formula of Concord," The Lutheran Encyclopedia, 3 vols., ed., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 874.

 

"In making his statement concerning the substantiality of original sin, the purpose of Flacius was to wipe out the last vestige of spiritual powers ascribed to natural man by Strigel, and to emphasize the doctrine of total corruption, which Strigel denied. His fatal blunder was that he did so in terms which were universally regarded as savoring of Manicheism."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 145.

 

Sola fide omitted. Justification perverted (Schmauk, p. 596) "Furthermore, the Leipzig Interim indirectly admits the Semi-Pelagian teaching regarding original sin and free will, while other doctrines which should have been confessed are passed by in silence. It recognizes the supremacy of the Pope, restores the power and jurisdiction of the bishops, acknowledges the authority of the council, approves of a number of ceremonies objectionable as such (e.g. the Corpus Christi Festival), and advocates the reintroduction of these and others in order to avoid persecution and to maintain outward peace with the Papists."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 99.

 

Adiaphoristic Controversy, 1548-1555. Flacius: "Nothing is an adiaphoron in case of confession and offense." Decided by FC, Article X. 2) Majoristic Controversy, 1551-1562. Good works necessary. Amsdorf: good works detrimental to salvation. Decided by FC, Article IV. 3) Synergistic Controversy, 1555-1560. Natural power cooperates in conversion. Decided by FC, Article II. 4) Flacian Controversy, 1560-1575. Original sin the very substance of fallen man. Decided by FC, Article I. 5) Osiandristic and Stancarian Controversy, 1549-1566. Christ our righteousness in divine nature only (O); in human nature only (S). Decided by FC, Article III.

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 103.

 

"In the Formula of Concord, Article XI is closely related to most of the other articles, particularly to Article I, Of Original Sin, and Article II, Of Free Will and Conversion. Election is to conversion what the concave side of a lens is to the convex. Both correspond to each other in every particular. What God does for and in man when He converts, justifies, sanctifies, preserves, and finally glorifies him, He has in eternity resolved to do,--that is one way in which eternal election may be defined. Synergists and Calvinists, however, have always maintained that the Second Article is in a hopeless conflict with the Eleventh. But the truth is, the Second fully confirms and corroborates the Eleventh, and vice versa; for both maintain the sola gratia as well as the universalis gratia."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 203.

 

"Strigel's views concerning the freedom of man's will in spiritual matters may be summarized as follows: Man, having a will, is a free agent, hence always able to decide for or against. This ability is the 'mode of action' essential to man as long as he really is a man and in possession of a will. Even in matters pertaining to grace this freedom was not entirely lost in the Fall. It was impeded and weakened by original sin, but not annihilated."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 136.

 

Roman Catholic

"'Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.' [footnote #506: Lumen Gentium, 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950): DS 3903; cf. Rev. 19:16] The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: 'In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.' [footnote #507, Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, Aug 15]"

Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Paul Books and Media, 1994, p. 252. Revelation 19:16.

 

[Pope Pius IX] – "The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free of all stain of original sin." [Ineffabilis Deus, Acta Pii IX, part L, vol. 1, p. 615]

Kilian Healy, O.Carm., The Assumption of Mary, Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1982, p. 73. Pope Pius IX

 

"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: 'The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.' [footnote #135: Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1954: DS 2803.]" (#491)

Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Paul Books and Media, 1994, p. 124. Pope Pius IX

 

"Finally, preserved free from all guilt of original sin, [Note: "Cf. Pius IX, bull 'Ineffabilis,' Dec. 8, 1854: 'Acta Pii IX,' 1, I, p. 616; Denzinger 1641 (2803)."] the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory upon the completion of her earthly sojourn." [Note: "Cf. Pius XII, apostolic constitution 'Munifentissimus,' Nov. 1, 1950..."]

Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, VIII, 59, The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., New York: Herder and Herder, 1966, p. 90.

 

[Bull, Solicitudo omnium, December 8, 1661] "...preserved free from the stain of original sin."]

Paul F. Palmer, S.J., Mary in the Documents of the Church, Gerald G. Walsh, S.J., Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press 1952, p. 78. Pope Alexander VII

 

"We see the servant return the sixth time to be again sent by Elias to 'look out over the sea.' This seventh time he hastens back for, rising out of the sea at the foot of the Mount, he has seen a small cloud in the shape of a human foot! In the near tomorrows, sainted Doctors of the true Church will explain to the world how this little cloud, rising pure out of its bitter sea and leaving all impurities behind, is a figure of an Immaculate Virgin who will rise pure out of the sea of humankind, free of its universal impurity of original sin." (Kings III, ch. 18)

John Mathias Haffert, Mary in Her Scapular Promise, Sea Isle City, NJ: The Scapular Press, 1942, p. 4. Aug., Serm, xxvii, in Natali Domini, xix,

 

"As they [the theologians] reflected on this problem [whether Mary sinned], more and more Catholic thinkers came to the conclusion that Mary must have been excused from the universality of original sin. They are some indications of this in the Bible, although the Bible nowhere says explicitly that Mary was immaculately conceived."

Kenneth Baker, S.J., Fundamentals of Catholicism, 3 vols., San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1982, II, p. 323.

 

"But most students are prepared to admit that the Angelic Doctor simply denied Mary's freedom from original sin."

A. Carr & G. Williams, "Mary's Immaculate Conception," Mariology, 3 vols., Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1961, I, p. 366.

 

"However, this same holy synod declares that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God, but that the constitution of Pope Sixtus IV, of happy memory, should be observed under the penalties contained in these constitutions, which it renews." [Appendix of the Decree of the Fifth Session of the Council of Trent]

Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 377. Pope Sixtus IV

 

"Supernaturally, however, there was accomplished in the womb of St. Anne the singular mystery known as the Immaculate Conception. From the first instant of Mary's existence in the womb of her mother, as a human creature, a daughter of Adam, she entered into life all pure, entirely free from the stain that mars every man coming into this world. And just as she did not know original sin at conception, neither would she every experience actual sin, and her soul would always remain immaculate. Neither would she suffer the humiliating consequences of original sin, namely, ignorance and concupiscence."

Peter A. Resch, S.M., S.T.D., A Life of Mary, Co-Redemptrix, Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954, p. 31.

 

"It is interesting, however, that, as Millard Meiss has emphasized, the Dominicans were particularly instrumental in fostering the cult of the nursing Virgin. They were the only order in the Church that continually and vehemently opposed the growing belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. And if Mary was free from all stain of original sin, then lactation might not be her inheritance."

Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976, p. 204.