The Second Sunday in Lent
March 3, 1996
A HARD SAYING
"But see in this example how Christ like a hunter exercises and chases faith in His followers in order that it may become strong and firm."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 149. Matthew 15:21‑28.
"In like manner Moses must precede and teach people to feel their sins in order that grace may be sweet and welcome to them. Therefore all is in vain, however friendly and lovely Christ may be pictured, if man is not first humbled by a knowledge of himself and he possesses no longing for Christ, as Mary's Song says, 'The hungry he hath filled with good things; and the rich he hath sent
empty away,' Luke 1:53."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 149.
"All this is spoken and written for the comfort of the distressed, the poor, the needy, the sinful, the despised, so that they may know in all times of need to whom to flee and where to seek comfort and help."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 149.
"Now what does the poor woman do? She turns her eyes from all this unfriendly treatment of Christ; all this does not lead her astray, neither does she take it to heart, but she continues immediately and firmly to cling in her confidence to the good news she had heard and embraced concerning Him, and never gives up. We must also do the same and learn firmly to cling to the Word, even though God with all His creatures appears different than His Word teaches. But, oh, how painful it is to nature and reason, that this woman should strip herself of self and forsake all that she experienced, and cling along to God's bare Word, until she experienced the contrary. May God help us in time of need and of death to possess courage and faith!"
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 150.
WHAT WE LEARN
"As for example when we feel in our conscience that God rebukes us as sinners and judges us unworthy of the kingdom of heaven, then we experience hell, and we think we are lost forever. Now whoever understands here the actions of this poor woman and catches God in His own judgment, and says, Lord, it is true, I am a sinner and not worthy of Thy grace; but still Thou hast promised sinners forgiveness, and Thou art come not to call the righteous, but, as St. Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:15, 'to save sinners.' Behold, then must God according to His own judgment have mercy upon us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 153. Matthew 15:21‑28; 1 Timothy 1:15
THE LORD'S SUPPER
Calvin was dissatisfied with Zwingli's interpretation of the Lord's Supper, but his own interpretation was also wrong. He said that a person desiring to receive the body and blood of Christ could not get it under the bread and wine, but must by his faith mount up to heaven, where the Holy Spirit would negotiate a way for feeding him with the body and blood of Christ. These are mere vagaries, which originated in Calvin's fancy. But an incident like this shows that men will not believe that God bears us poor sinners such great love that He is willing to come to us."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 185.
"As distinguished from the Gospel, Sacraments are acts, we apply water in Baptism, and we eat and drink in the Lord's Supper. They are sacred acts, and must, as such, be distinguished from ordinary washing, eating and drinking...A Sacrament which offers God's blessings cannot be instituted by man or the Church, but by God alone."
Edward W. A. Koehler, A Short Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism, Fort Wayne: 1946, p. 254.
"The Reformed, and all Reformed sects, deny the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper. Through this they detract from God's honor."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 36.
"Whoever denies the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper must pervert the words of Institution where Christ the Lord, speaking of that which He gives His Christians to eat, says: 'This is My body,' and, speaking of that which He gives them to drink, says: 'This is My blood.' [Also 1 Corinthians 10:16]
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. 1 Corinthians 10:16.
"It is, for example, very terrible that the Lutheran Church, because it has the true doctrine of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, is decried as 'Catholic.' This attack against the true Church is no small matter."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 44.
"Since God has connected His most gracious promise of forgiveness with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, these also are true and efficacious means of grace, namely, by virtue of the divine promises that are attached to them."
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 444.