Walther Quote of the Day

“What great grace those who share in the holy Sacraments enjoy! As God gave His Word to His people and added visible  signs to confirm it, so He grants to the people of Christ the grace of the Gospel and added the visible sign of the holy Sacraments as a seal. Just as the pillars of fire and cloud were once a certain sign of God’s presence in grace to all for whom they lightened the night and gave shade in the day, so Holy Baptism is now a sign to all who receive it that God remains with them in grace. At one time, those who went through the Red Sea untouched as Pharaoh and his army drowned had a sign that God recognized them as children of His covenant of grace and would bring them into the earthly Canaan He promised. Today, Holy Baptism is a sign for all who receive it that their sins are swallowed up by the sea of Christ’s blood, that God has accepted them as children of His covenant of grace, and that He will bring them into the heavenly Canaan promised in the Gospel. The Israelites, with their eating of the manna from heaven and their drinking of the water from the rock, enjoyed the presence of Christ spiritually, and their faith in the promised Redeemer was thus strengthened. In like manner, Christ gave Himself spiritually to all those who participate in faith in His New Testament Supper.”

God Grant It: Daily Devotions from C. F. W. Walther p 207-208

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Luther Quote of the Day

Luther on why Abraham lied in Gen. 20:2

2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife: She is my sister. And Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent and took Sarah.

Because Abraham fears for his life, he invents a lie in that new lodging place and calls Sarah his sister. Why does this happen? Evidently because God wants to teach us that even the saintliest fathers had human feelings and emotions, in order that we may not, as we are nevertheless commonly wont to do, think that they were stones or rocks—whom fears, suspicions, scruples, anger, and joys did not affect at all—and that they were like angels. But this is not the case; for no fear befalls an angel. Here, however, Abraham is full of apprehension and fears for his life. Hence Moses describes him as a human being, and he does this for our comfort.

Luther’s works, vol. 3: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 15-20 p 319-320

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Justin Martyr on why the sacrifice of flour made by lepers is a type of the bread in the Eucharist.

“And the offering of fine flour, sirs,” I said, “which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed, in remembrance of the suffering which He endured on behalf of those who are purified in soul from all iniquity, in order that we may at the same time thank God for having created the world, with all things therein, for the sake of man, and for delivering us from the evil in which we were, and for utterly overthrowing principalities and powers by Him who suffered according to His will.”

Justin Martyr: Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew part 4: ch xl- liii

ch. xli

Walther Quote of the Day

The Word of God also offers Christians a treasury of information regarding the forgiveness of sins. It not only proclaims that the sins of all people have been washed away by Christ’s blood and that there is a way for people to attain the forgiveness. It is also the hand of God that presents this precious good to man. The entire teaching of the Gospel is a God-given absolution to all people that everyone receives for himself as soon as he believes it.

Holy Scripture is an inexhaustible source of comfort for Christians. There is no type of loss – property and goods, honor and good name, health, freedom and family, even life itself – however good and difficult, for which the Bible does not supply a comfort that will bring total reassurance. Those who do not have God’s Word will be thrown into despair by suck setbacks, but those who are grounded in Scripture will be able to praise and glorify God in every circumstance.

God Grant It: Daily Devotions from C. F. W. Walther p 205

Luther Quote of the Day

Luther on Lot sleeping with his daughters after they flee the destruction of the five cities including Sodom and what this sin means in Gen. 19:31-33

31. And the first-born said to the younger: Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come into us after the manner of all the earth.
32. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father.
33. So they made their father drink wine that night; and the first-born went in and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
It is not without reason that Moses devotes so many words to his description of the foul deed. That so large a multitude of ungodly people has perished—this is horrible in itself; but that Lot, who saw this punishment, and his daughters fall into so great a sin—this is more horrible. Moreover, these facts have been recorded to frighten all the ungodly, yes, even the saints, lest they become smug. On the contrary, they should recognize the weakness, of which there are such horrible examples, and devote themselves more diligently to prayer and be watchful. Yet it behooves us to excuse the father as well as the daughters and not to magnify their guilt; for they are not sinning, like the ungodly, because of lust, idleness, smugness, and malice; they are sinning as a result of great perplexity. But a fall resulting from perplexity should in no wise be compared to one that comes about intentionally, since Lot would not have been made drunk so easily if his heart had not first been perturbed. So he sinned, but he sinned venially; that is, God forgave this sin out of mercy. For Lot would never have committed it if he had been sober and in possession of his mental faculties.

You will ask: “But why does God permit His own to fall in this manner?” Although we are not at liberty to inquire too eagerly into God’s doings, yet here the answer is easy. God wants us to be well aware of our feebleness, lest we lapse into smugness. Thus Lot and his saintly household had seen the sins of the people of Sodom and had rightfully abominated them, but what happens to them now? The people who are so saintly pollute themselves with abominable incest, something which hardly ever happened among the people of Sodom or at least did not happen commonly.

Hence the reason is clear. God wants us all to humble ourselves and to glory solely in His mercy, because, so far as we are concerned, no one is better or saintlier than the other, and no one sins so gravely. If God should withdraw His hand, you will pollute yourself with the same sin. Therefore this awful fall teaches two lessons: (1) that you should humble yourself before God and (2) that you should continually pray to God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The nonsense of the Jews about the wine that was dispensed and about the philter prepared by his daughters must be utterly rejected. It was natural wine, such as that region produced; and it undoubtedly also had an excellent and smooth flavor. For previously Moses himself praised the fertility of that region highly when he called it a Paradise of God. Therefore Lot became drunk, not because he drank wine so excessively, but because his perturbed mind could not tolerate such excellent wine.

 

 

Luther’s works, vol. 3: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 15-20 p 311-312

Walther Quote of the Day

“Human desire is of no use in the quest for truth. Desire for the truth arises after a person has already begun to recognize the truth. To be sure, the question ‘What is truth?’ fills the hearts of thousands, but where the Holy Ghost Himself has not prompted the question by giving a person a taste of its sweet light, the search for truth is nothing more than an arrogant, idolatrous thirst for knowledge that only hinders the effort to find the truth.”

God Grant It: Daily Devotions from C. F. W. Walther p 202

Luther Quote of the Day

Luther on why we Christians can receive temporal punishment for disobedience even though we still have faith in Genesis 19:26

26. But Lot’s wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Hence this is a sign or lesson and a warning not to allow ourselves to be hampered in our calling, as Peter in John 21:20 looked back at John but was rebuked by the Lord. For everyone should stick to his own calling and not concern himself with what others are doing. At the present time the papists beset us a great deal with the example of a former age during which everything lay in darkness. “Your doctrine,” they say, “is new and unknown to our ancestors; therefore if it is true, all our ancestors have been condemned.” They, too, are looking back and thus disregard the word they have before them. For what concern is it to us what kind of judgment God pronounced on those who departed this life in times past? The Word of God is being preached to us today; we must hear and receive it without any argument. We must not become questioners who ask God why He has brought the sound doctrine to light at this time and not in former times.

Thus this account teaches us to remain steadfast, for he who wants to be a Christian must not change his purpose: he must not look for another way or another Gospel. In this one and only way there is salvation; if you enter upon another, you have perished and are like Lot’s wife. But so far as Lot’s wife is concerned, this example is instruction for us rather than a condemnation of the woman, who, I fully believe, was saintly and was saved; for one should have no other presupposition concerning God’s mercy, especially since she has a splendid testimony of the life she has previously led, inasmuch as the angels themselves bring her out and she follows her husband.

But you will say: “Why does she perish in this manner?” My answer is: She was overcome by human weakness and, contrary to the angels’ command, looked back toward those awful crashes. For this disobedience she suffers a temporal punishment. Nevertheless, her soul is saved, as Paul says (1 Cor. 5:5) about the incestuous man. Therefore one must hold fast to this teaching—that the saintly woman is compelled to suffer this punishment—in order that it may reach all succeeding generations. Christ says (Luke 17:32): “Remember Lot’s wife.”

But one must by all means entertain the hope that Lot’s wife was not condemned for this reason. For there are many such examples in Holy Writ; they show that God afflicts His saints with temporal punishments in order that they may not perish with the world. And Paul says (1 Cor. 11:32): “When we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened, so that we may not be condemned along with this world.” Accordingly, Lot’s wife was chastened; but she was not condemned. In like manner, Aaron’s sons, who were offering strange fire, were castigated as a sign for others and were not condemned (Lev. 10:1 ff.). I have the same conviction about the prophet who was killed by the lion (1 Kings 13:24). In that instance the body suffered because of disobedience; but nothing befell the soul, evidently in order that we may be admonished to fear God and may strictly keep the commands of God. Thus this pillar is truly a spice and the salt of wisdom; it admonishes us not to look back but to persevere, and, as Paul puts it (Phil. 3:13), to “strain forward to what lies ahead.”

Luther’s works, vol. 3: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 15-20 p 299-300