Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.
GOSPEL PREACHING--OUR REFORMATION HERITAGE
Under God Luther unwittingly spawned the rebellion against spiritual tyranny that would eventually return the Gospel to its rightful place in the life of the church. The Reformation put the Gospel in its rightful place as the focus of Christian teaching and preaching. The Gospel was "the sermon that Christ gave Himself for us that He might save us from sin, that all who believe this might certainly be saved . . . and that thus sinners, despairing of their own efforts, might cling to Christ alone and rely on Him" (What Luther Says, Vol. II, p. 562).
The repository of the pure Gospel after the Reformation was the Lutheran Church. Today the Lutheran Church for the most part is in need of another Reformation lest another word of Luther come true. Said the Reformer: "Very well, all sorts of plagues will follow upon this attitude"--an attitude of indifference and lack of unadulterated Gospel preaching manifested by a failure to hold Christ and His cross at the center of things.
Purity of doctrine, sanctification, a fervent spirit of religiousness, a social conscience are important. But unless they are born of the Gospel and are in the service of the Gospel, the exercise and pursuit of the same is a replay of the self-deception that enveloped the church before the Reformation.
For our part we say with Luther that the Gospel of eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ shall "be diligently presented in my sermons, for I see well enough what it does where it is present and what harm is caused where it is absent" (loc. cit., p. 564). God help us!
As we are committed in our church to proclaim the Gospel of Christ without shame or apology, we invite "all who are in distress of mind and heart because of their guilt and condemnation in the sight of Almighty God and seek the pardon and comfort which only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can confer" (CLC Statement of Faith and Purpose).
-- From the "Lutheran Spokesman"