A Reading from the Book of Concord 3 year series April 13, 2008 - Fourth Sunday of Easter
Standard LSB A Readings: First: Acts 2:42-47 Epistle: 1 Peter 2:19-25 Gospel: John 10:1-10 Psalm: Ps. 23
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the LSB Gospel John 10:1-10 for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 13, 2008.
It is from Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, paragraphs 69-73, page 231.
There is only one Shepherd who gives life. Jesus said, "I came that they may have life" (v.10). Today He comes to us in the Sacrament promising the forgiveness of sins. Faith that grasps God's mercy enlivens.
The Sacraments are signs of God's will toward us. Those who define Sacraments in the New Testament as signs of grace are correct. There are two things in a Sacrament: a sign and the Word. In the New Testament, the Word is the promise of the forgiveness of sins. The Holy Spirit works through these: Word and Sacrament.
Such a use of the Sacrament in which faith enlivens terrified hearts, is a service of the New Testament. That is because the New Testament requires spiritual inclinations, making dead and alive. Christ instituted the Sacrament for this use, since He commanded the disciples to do this in remembrance of Him. Remembering Christ is not the useless celebration of a show. It is not something set up for the sake of example, as the memory of Hercules or Ulysses is celebrated in tragedies. Rather, it is remembering Christ's benefits and receiving them through faith, to be enlivened by them. So Psalm 111:4-5 says, "He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear Him." The Sacrament illustrates that God's will and mercy should be discerned in the ceremony. Faith that grasps mercy enlivens. This is the chief use of the Sacrament. It is clear who are fit for the Sacrament (namely, terrified consciences) and how they should use it. (paragraphs69-73)
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.