Thursday, July 7, 2011

Under Penalty of Law

It is very troubling that more and more of these so called modern and enlightened preachers proclaim that God is love and only love. So many of those responsible to save the lost have become so enamored of themselves and of this world, that they actually teach unsound doctrine that can and does affect the very salvation of those who accept their false teaching.  These "new age" preachers proclaim doctrine that supports the "new thing" that God is allegedly saying and pen essays that sound so appealing, especially to those thirsting for a church to approve and welcome them and their lifestyle choices, in spite of what our God commands.  Just like the evil one revels in half truths within his lies, these teachers are only partly correct.  Yes, when Jesus Christ took sin to the cross, suffered and died, He freely received the punishment we so rightly deserved.  When His death and resurrection was complete, we were freed from the judgment of the law.  We are no longer due punishment for our never ending sinful behavior.  Jesus suffered our punishment and through His death we are sanctified before God.  By faith, we are freely justified and are granted eternal life.   

So many teachers in the ELCA and others embraced by the ELCA preach that this justification is freely given without condition and with or without faith.  They teach that God would never place conditions upon His children, and promote the doctrine of universalism.  From the Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV: Justification, “they condemn us, for teaching that men obtain remission of sins not because of their own merits, but freely for Christ's sake, through faith in Christ. [They reject quite stubbornly both these statements.] For they condemn us both for denying that men obtain remission of sins because of their own merits, and for affirming that, through faith, men obtain remission of sins, and through faith in Christ are justified.”

In the Augsburg Confession, Article III: Of the Son of God, “He ascended into heaven that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign and have dominion over all creatures, and sanctify them that believe in Him,”  Article IV: Of Justification, “Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight.”  Article V: Of the Ministry, “That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake.”  Article VI: Of New Obedience, “It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone.”  Article XII: Of Repentance, “Now, repentance consists properly of these two parts: One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors.” (All emphasis mine.)

Over and over these enlightened scholars ignore Scripture and doctrine to promote a god in the image that they desire.  It is abundantly clear that faith in the Risen Christ is necessary to gain one’s salvation.  Without faith, we remain apart from our God.  The last command Jesus gave to His disciples was to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  If it is not necessary to have faith, why would our Lord and Savior tell us to make disciples of all nations?  God grants us the gift of grace, by faith alone.  God loves all His children, and that means everyone who lives upon this world, but requires that we believe to receive the gift of eternal life with Him.  Those that teach otherwise, simply utter pleasing words that lead their flock astray, in the same manner as the evil one deceives the world.  

The unaltered Augsburg Confession is cited by the ELCA as the true witness to the Gospel and acknowledges it is as one with it in faith.  The Bible is cited by the ELCA as the written word of God.  The ELCA continues to accept teaching that makes faith in the Risen Christ optional and then has the audacity to state that these diverse opinions make the church stronger.  This clearly contradicts their statements of belief and is contrary to God’s command.  Further, teaching that all are saved regardless, renders Christ’s command in the Great Commission moot.  For if all are saved, it is no longer necessary to proclaim the Gospel or lead the lost to Him.  Without faith, we are not washed clean by the blood of Christ and are not justified before God.  Without faith, we remain under penalty of the law.  By accepting this errant doctrine, the leaders of the ELCA make their own compelling argument that they are no longer functioning as a Christian Church. 

Unless you are more interested in supporting social statements and the things of this world, rather than worship of the Lord, why would one look to attend an ELCA church?   Continue in prayer for all the lost souls trapped within the ELCA.  Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

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