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A Reading from the Book of Concord
3 year series

February 5, 2012 - Epiphany 5, series B

The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Epistle, 1 Corinthians 9:16-27 for the Epiphany 5, series B, February 5, 2012.

It is from Solid Declaration, Article IV, page 549.

A Christian's joyful desire and willingness to God's will does not rule out the possibility that he may have to go through an agonizing battle with his own sinful flesh.

Click here for the reading formatted for the back of a standard CPH bulletin.

Pastor Doug May
Socorro, New Mexico


The people of the New Testament are to be a willing people and sacrifice freely, "not reluctantly or under compulsion" (2 Corinthians 9:7). They are to be "obedient from the heart" (Romans 6:17), "for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). In this understanding it is correctly said and taught that truly good works should be done willingly, or from a voluntary spirit, by those whom God's Son has made free. The dispute about the voluntary nature of good works was engaged in by some people specifically to make this point.

Here, again, it is well to note the distinction that St. Paul makes in Romans 7:22-23:

I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind.

Regarding the unwilling and rebellious flesh, Paul says, "I discipline my body and keep it under control" (1 Corinthians 9:27) and "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified [slain] the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24). When it is asserted and taught that good works are free to believers in the sense that they are optional for them to do or not to do, this is false, and must be rejected. It is false to say that believers might or could act against ‹God's Law› and still have faith and God's favor and grace. (paragraphs 17-20)

Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.

These are excerpts from the Book of Concord.

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