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quod pro nobis traditum est

Sunday, October 21, 2007

gratia universalis

For a number of years my father, Rev. Doug May of Socorro, NM has provided reading excerpts from the Lutheran Confessions that correspond to the church year like the one posted below. This and other readings are available here.

The following reading, which is chosen for the Last Sunday of the Church Year (3 Year Series), is timely in that it also applies to the Gospel reading for the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity in the Historic Lectionary (Matthew 22:1-14).

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CONCORD
LAST SUNDAY OF THE CHURCH YEAR
FORMULA OF CONCORD, EPITOME,
ARTICLE XI: GOD'S ETERNAL ELECTION

"Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). This does not mean that God is unwilling to save everybody. But the reason some are not saved is as follows: They do not listen to God's Word at all, but willfully despise it, plug their ears, and harden their hearts. In this way they block the ordinary way (Luke 16:29-31) for the Holy Spirit so He cannot perform His work in them. Or, when they have heard God's Word, they make light of it and ignore it. Their wickedness is responsible for this, not God or His election (2 Peter 2:1-3; Luke 11:49-52; Heb.12:25-26).

A Christian should concern himself with the article about God's eternal election only as far as it has been revealed in God's Word. His Word presents Christ to us as the Book of Life, which He opens and reveals to us by the preaching of the Holy Gospel, as it is written in Romans 8:30, "Those whom He predestined He also called." The Father has determined (Eph.1:11-12) that He would save no one except those who know His Son Christ and truly believe in Him. Other thoughts are to be banished; they do not come from God, but from the evil foe. Out of pure grace, without any merit of our own, we have been elected in Christ to eternal life. No one can pluck us out of His hand (John 10:29). He has promised this election with words, has certified it with an oath and sealed it with the holy Sacraments.
(paragraphs 12-13)

Condensed quotations from the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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