The Third Sunday after Epiphany
January 21, 1996
"Es ist im Alten wie im Neuen Testament derselbe Gott, derselbe Mittler, dieselbe Gnade, dieselbe Gerechtigkeit, dieselbe Erloesung."
Adolf Hoenecke, Evangelisch‑Lutherische Dogmatik, Walter and Otto Hoenecke, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1912, IV, p. 70.
"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 791. Tappert, p. 472.
"Now this confidence of faith or knowledge of the goodness of Christ would never have originated in this leper by virtue of his own reason, if he had not first heard a good report about Christ, namely, how kind, gracious and merciful he is, ready to help and befriend, comfort and counsel every one that comes to him. Such a report must undoubtedly have come to his ears, and from this fame he derived courage, and turned and interpreted the report to his own advantage...His faith therefore did not grow out of his reason, but out of the report he heard of Christ, as St. Paul says: 'Belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the Word (or report) of Christ.' Romans 10:7"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John N. Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 72. Matthew 8:1‑13; Romans 10:7
"For that is living faith, which does not doubt that God is also good to us and is graciously willing to do what we ask. But it is to be understood in this way: faith does not doubt the good will, God has toward a person, by which he wishes him every good; but it is not known to us, whether what faith asks and presents, is good and useful for us; God alone knows this."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 75. Matthew 8:1‑13.
"Lord, I am not worthy."
"Herein is the great faith of this heathen, that he knows salvation does not depend upon the bodily presence of Christ, for this does not avail, but upon the Word and faith. But the apostles did not yet know this, neither perhaps did his mother, but they clung to his bodily presence and were not willing to let it go, John 16:6. They did not cling to his Word alone. But this heathen is so fully satisfied with his Word, that he does not even desire his presence nor does he deem himself worthy of it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. p. 79. Matthew 8:1‑13; John 16:6.