Saturday, October 6, 2018

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.


I have yet to find a more strikingly simple illustration of the principles of the Reformation and of the Christian faith than that simple verse of the children's song all of us learned and loved in our childhood: "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so."

JESUS LOVES ME -- Isn't that grace alone? He loves me, undeserving sinner though I am, "having been justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

THIS I KNOW -- Isn't that faith alone, the confidence and certainty of Christ's love and my salvation in Him?

FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO -- Because my God has said so in His Word and I believe it. Isn't that scripture alone?

May the lyrics of this children's Reformation song live in our hearts. For each Reformation offers us yet another opportunity to reaffirm our commitment, to write our own Formula of Concord.

The principles of the Reformation are not simply worth maintaining -- there are no other options or alternatives. They must be maintained. They must be reaffirmed by each generation anew, by each of our churches anew, by each of our families anew, by each of our hearts anew. They must be renewed by faithful use of Word and sacrament, Luther's source of strength and no less ours.

It is our privileged and honored calling to be Christ's witnesses, His messengers, His reformers for our day. May we go forward in His name and to His glory with courage, confidence, and commitment. "The Lord of hosts is [still] with us; the God of Jacob is [still] our refuge."

-- From the "Lutheran Spokesman"