The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
August 25, 1996
2 Corinthians 3:4-11
"And this call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, we should not regard as jugglery, but know that thereby God reveals His will, that in those whom He thus calls He will work through the Word, that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved. For the Word, whereby we are called, is a ministration of the Spirit, that gives the Spirit, or whereby the Spirit is given, 2 Corinthians 3:8, and a power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. And since the Holy Ghost wishes to be efficacious through the Word, and to strengthen and give power and ability, it is God's will that we should receive the Word, believe and obey it."
Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1073. Tappert, p. 621. 2 Corinthians 3:8; Romans 1:16.
Roman Catholic View
"But what did the Council [of Trent] mean by 'faith'? It certainly rejected the Lutheran notion of 'fiducial faith,' which is a confident trust in God through the saving merits of Jesus Christ. In Luther's view, that was all that was required. In the Catholic view, faith, in addition to being an act of trust in God, also has a dogmatic content that the mind must give assent to. Thus, for Catholics faith consists in the firm acceptance of the divine truths of revelation on the authority of God who has revealed them. And Trent declared that fiducial faith alone is not sufficient to justify the sinner."
Kenneth Baker, S.J., Fundamentals of Catholicism, Ignatius Press, III, p. 61.
Holy Spirit and the Word
"Emphatically does Scripture state that the action of the Spirit covers the whole life from first to the last. He is the Spirit of Life for regeneration (John 3:5, 8): the Spirit of Sonship for adoption (Romans 8:15): the Spirit of holiness for sanctification (Romans 8:5): the Spirit of Glory for transfiguration (2 Corinthians 3:18); the Spirit of Promise for the resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Only through the Holy Spirit are men drawn to the Author and Finisher of their salvation."
Arthur H. Drevlow, "God the Holy Spirit Acts to Build the Church," God The Holy Spirit Acts, ed., Eugene P. Kaulfield, NPH, 1972, p. 15.
"The Law of God, which is also contained in Scripture, must be excluded from the concept 'means of grace,' because the Law does not assure those who have transgressed it‑‑and all men have transgressed it‑‑of the remission of their sins, or God's grace, but on the contrary proclaims God's wrath and condemnation. For this reason the Law is expressly called...'the ministry of condemnation,' whereas the Gospel is...'the ministry of righteousness' (2 Corinthians 3:9)."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., III, p. 105. 2 Corinthians 3:9.