The Weekend Word

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41 Responses

  1. John 20:29 says:

    For clarification, i have a question:
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteohsness.” 1 John 1 :9
    Would the Lutheran say, “but not until you get to church for confession and absolution?

  2. Jean says:

    Did Jean not give the Church the following office:

    “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld”?

  3. Jean says:

    LOL!! Not Jean, but Jesus.

  4. John 20:29 says:

    Not the point of my questikn, Jesus… errr Jean. 😇

    I asked whether or not the confession, to have efficacy, must be made in church and according to prescribed ritual

  5. John 20:29 says:

    Thank you, but…
    Not the point of my questikn, Jesus… errr Jean. 😇

    I asked whether or not the Lutheran confession, to have efficacy, must be made in church and according to prescribed ritual

  6. John 20:29 says:

    Well, that was weird… I only hit “reply” once. 😐

  7. Jean says:

    The efficacy is in the cleansing of a guilty conscience. Since faith comes from hearing, there is great efficacy in hearing the announcement of Christ’s forgiveness given in accordance with the Word of God.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It seems that John’s epistles are written to the churches and it seems that an office was given. Therefore I would think one would go to where one could here the absolution. This is why pastors make house call to those who can’t get out – to share the word, to pray with the individual, to administer the body & blood and to hear the confession and deliver the absolution.
    But, I guess confession in your head works also.

  9. Jean says:

    Whenever Christ promises grace, we should ask: How is it applied to me?

    This is the physicality of the Christian faith that is preserved in sacramental traditions.

  10. John 20:29 says:

    Well, i.would reply that the OBJECT of efficacy is getting squared away with God… hopefully, one’s conscience would be cleared by faith in that…
    However, if one cant clear their conscience thru confessing to God alone… then the Lutheran way is a good place for them to land … Or the Roman Catholic way or any similar … i guess ….

    sorry about the caps….

  11. bob1 says:

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteohsness.” 1 John 1 :9
    Would the Lutheran say, “but not until you get to church for confession and absolution?

    It strikes me as bizarre that Lutherans would says that you have to go to church to confess your sins to God and be forgiven.

    Didn’t Luther rediscover and believe and practice the priesthood of all believers?? Isn’t that one of the things he’s best known for??

  12. Jean says:

    Em,

    You’ve nailed the difference between us.

    You wrote: “However, if one can’t clear their conscience thru confessing….”

    That’s just it, we can’t. In your #1, you quoted from Scripture: “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteohsness.

    It is Christ who does the cleansing, not me or my confession.

    Absolution is a real thing. It is the grace of God in my ear, on my tongue, and sprinkled on my head.

  13. Jean says:

    bob1,

    “It strikes me as bizarre that Lutherans would says that you have to go to church to confess your sins to God and be forgiven.”

    Who said that? But let me ask you: Where in Scripture does it commend churchless Christianity?

  14. JoelG says:

    “Absolution is a real thing. It is the grace of God in my ear, on my tongue, and sprinkled on my head.”

    What about reading it in His Word. Wouldn’t this also be considered a physical means of grace?

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    bob1 – but we did not say you had to church to confess your sins. You allowed Em to frame the storyline -a false storyline at that.
    What we said is you go to where God established the office of the ministry to hear the absolution.
    Some of our traditions have a whole liturgical and sacramental churchlife where God delivers his grace continually.
    If as I pointed out that John was talking to the corporate church, doesn’t it make sense that the church is instructed to do these things corporately?

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    “the one who keeps Jesus’ works (right teaching)”

    Out of curiosity, I checked the Greek text on “keeps my works” and can find nothing that even vaguely references “right teaching”. Is this an allegorical or “spiritual” interpretation of the text? Just wondering…

  17. JoelG says:

    I guess I’ll answer my own question….

    Yes Joel, it is the ultimate Sacrament out of which all the other Sacraments proceed. So those of us that can’t go to a Lutheran Church for whatever reason can still be comforted by His Word, whether we’re in church or not.

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

  18. Michael says:

    In my opinion, the works of Jesus are the ones He commended this church for.

    ““ ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.”
    (Revelation 2:19 ESV)

    Faithfulness and love…

  19. bob1 says:

    What Joel G says #14 and #17

    This doesn’t have to be an “either or,” does it? We can approach God individually, and corporately. He offers forgiveness of sins individually and corporately. Unless we really
    don’t have any individuality…

    My personal belief is that God utilizes and acts on His Word no matter how it’s received — sacramentally, personally, or whatever and wherever.

    God says, “My Word shall not return void.”

  20. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I agree.

    On the other hand there is much spiritual and psychological value in praying the liturgical prayers of repentance and hearing the absolution given.

  21. John 20:29 says:

    Another distortion @ 12…
    Regarding clearing one’s conscience… I wash my face in the morning… Of course it is the soap and water that does the cleansing, but twas me what washed me face 😁

    Now im done as i know one of the Lutes is going to point out that i had to go to the basin for the process and thus, “one must go to church for cleansjng” … sigh

    God keep

  22. JoelG says:

    Absulltely Michael,

    I experienced that myself. Those things are for our benefit.

    At the same time Bob1 is right. It’s “ both and….”

    In my humble opinion, of course…

  23. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    Yes…both/and.

    There are many concepts like that which get lost in binary thinking…

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think its funny that all of the non Lutherans are making claims for positions that neither Jean nor I have spoken for.
    I don’t see where we have claimed anything as a unique Lutheran teaching. We find it quite scriptural and until anyone addresses if John is speaking of a corporate action or an individual action we will differ — but not because we are defending a ‘Lutheran’ position. I think by far the majority of the Christian church today and down through the ages have held to confession and absolution.
    But in the spirit of getting along – to each his / her own.

  25. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’ll go this far with you…I think evangelicalism has a much weaker view of the corporate church than liturgical churches do…which makes some of this very foreign to their ears.

  26. Jean says:

    Michael at #18,

    There are “your works” and “my works.” They are not the same thing.

    Jesus in verse twenty-six says: “…who keeps my works until the end….”

    How do we keep the works of Christ? Through preaching and teaching correct doctrine. By faith in those works, which must be proclaimed and taught.

    It is the implanted Word. But, as always, the works of Christ must be applied to the sinner. Thus, we cannot separate the works from right teaching.

  27. Michael says:

    “There are “your works” and “my works.” They are not the same thing.”

    I disagree.

    “How do we keep the works of Christ? Through preaching and teaching correct doctrine.”

    Again, I disagree. Strongly. I don’t see those works mentioned in Matthew 25, for example.

  28. Michael says:

    Sound teaching would be part of faithfulness…but not all teach…

  29. Jean says:

    Joel at #17,

    You will never hear MLD or I say that one must be Lutheran or hear the absolution from another.

    All I would say at this point, is that as I get older, and my veneer of immortality begins to wither, I’m finding that the things that Christ says in his Word are actually for my benefit, not as a kill joy.

    He is not arbitrary or legalistic. He loves us and comes to us, taking into account the frailties of the human frame. As far as I’m concerned, I’m learning how to say “yes” to Christ more, and “no” to my old Adam more. But most of this is I’ve learned from the school of experience.

    I love your heart.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, good question that I cannot answer fully as I am separated from my notes – these lessons are my talking points from classes taught at my church in the past. After this last move to AZ it would be a search to find the study work.
    First to my interpretive grid, when it comes to Revelation, and I know I have said this in the past and may have put it in the introduction to this study – after about Rev 1:11 I take everything in the book as symbolic, spiritual, allegorical etc – John is after all looking at a vision.

    I think that Jesus’ works as mentioned here are in contrast to the works of Jezebel which I think over the past 2 weeks I have identified as false teaching or teaching against the true teaching of the church. “that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Rev 2:20 – so the part of the church following this Jezebel needs to repent of HER works (which I see as her teaching) “unless they repent of her works,”

    The next teaching is about the church’s works which I made a big theme last week (and Michael mentioned here) – “and I will give to each of you according to your works.” which I think stems from how well they follow the proper teachings.

    When we get to the passage you bring up, I don’t know that we can take it in isolation from what has been discussed in just the previous few verses. Right before the passage in question, the speaker again refers to proper vs false teaching “who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan.” And then he tells them how to overcome, conquer – by holding to the works of Jesus which in this case I think refers to the truth of Jesus and what he has taught.

    That’s the best I can remember how I put it together. 🙂

  31. Michael says:

    I found someone that agrees with me… 🙂

    “Here it is Jesus’ “works,” with an implied contrast between his “works” here and both Jezebel’s “works” in 2:22 and the “works” of all Christians in 2:23. It is only Christ’s deeds that can be the basis for Christian victory. The evil deeds of a Jezebel or the incomplete deeds of the individual Christian are insufficient. Moreover, Jesus’ words (2:25) must be lived out in deeds (2:26). Belief necessarily leads to action. The “works” themselves are spelled out in 2:19—love, faith, service, endurance. The Thyatirans have lived these in the past and now must exemplify them even more. Finally, both verses end at the eschaton. Jesus’ “coming” (v. 25) is the “end” (v. 26). As in Mark 13:13 (par. Matt. 10:22; 24:13), “The one who endures to the end will be saved.”

    Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 165). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

  32. Jean says:

    Michael at #27,

    In my tradition, good works are the fruit of the Spirit. They flow spontaneously from a free and willing spirit of a good tree.

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak”. The Spirit has bound himself to the Word. The Trinity is one God in three persons, who share one essence, one will, etc.

    Thus, you are not going to find the Spirit speaking non-Christ words to anyone. Christ is the truth. The Spirit will guide us in Christ and His Word.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I don’t know who Osborne is and I don’t like to battle in cut and paste – I think it is more worthy to speak what we believe.
    Now, I find that Osborne totally ignores all of the references to teaching – good and false in this short passage in Rev 2. Why is teaching mentioned so many times?

  34. Michael says:

    I did speak what I believe…then I checked to see if I was talking out my hindquarters.

    He mentions teaching in context of the passage…he (and I) think there’s much more to these messages than just admonitions about false teaching.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    #30 MLD

    Thank you. It is the only time that the phrase is used in the NT. The grammatical structure of the phrase makes it much more likely to be interpreted as Michael did in #18. It is not a contrast with “false teaching”, but an exhortation to be the imitation of Christ in love and faithfulness.

    #26 Jean

    That’s good LCMS teaching, but it does not find application here at least in keeping with the “clear meaning of Scripture”.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, I probably missed it but where does Osborne speak to ‘teaching’ in his quoted passage?

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, you may have misunderstood. I did not say that the works of Jesus were a contrast to false teaching. What I said was the works of Jesus were used to contrast the works of Jezebel – which I think are clearly shown to be her false teachings which was leading the church into false worship – I highlighted the pertinent phrases in that last comment.

  38. JoelG says:

    #29 – Thanks Jean. I’m sorry for being impatient.

  39. Jean says:

    Duane,

    I agree that the phrase “keep my works” is unusual, but to say that your interpretation – “an exhortation to be the imitation of Christ in love and faithfulness” – is any more “clear” than MLD’s I would disagree with.

    One of the good things about historic Lutheranism is that we do not dogmatize exegesis. Therefore, we can enjoy good fellowship even where we differ in the exegesis of a text.

    Thank you for bringing up an alternative thought for verse 26.

  40. Michael says:

    MLD,
    I only quoted a snippet of a commentary…the part addressing what we were discussing.
    I can post the rest if you like, but it’s really long…

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    #39 Jean

    Just trying to go from the Greek text…

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