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Kept in Fear

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Scripture Text: 1 Peter 5:8–11

We think we are safe begin to drift when we should fear God, always being concerned for our spiritual condition, so that we pray, "Lord, increase our faith."

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Commending Ourselves to God

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Scripture Text: Matthew 25:31–34

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

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That We May Stand

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Scripture Text: Matthew 25:31–32

May the Spirit of Christ move in you so that you might fear, love, and trust his Father and desire to stand before him in heaven in all his glorious majesty.

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Striving to Be His

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Scripture Text: 1 John 1:7–2:2

The Holy Spirit moves the heart to begin again to love each day. Christ is full of grace and truth, and through him grace and truth grow in us.

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Preaching for Christ’s Sake

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Scripture Text: Luke 24:44–48

The gospel should not be preached in a corner, but before all people, whether or not we feel it effective, for it alone has the power to save.

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When Tempted

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Scripture Text: Psalm 119:9–12

When tempted, a wise man is watchful, not relying on human knowledge, reason, or feelings, but he remembers God’s Word, and is guided thereby.

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The Golden Year of God’s Word

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:15–20

The present time is unquestionably good and golden as long as the gospel of Jesus Christ is faithfully preached and received.

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The Noahic Covenant

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Scripture Text: Genesis 6:17–18

It was no easy matter to believe that the whole human race was to perish, so the world judged Noah to be a dolt for believing such things and ridiculed him.

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Your Neighbor as Yourself

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Scripture Text: Romans 15:4–7

Regarding our neighbor's condition as our own, we should take upon ourselves their burdens, sins, and imperfections, and bear with them and help them to reform.

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Willful Wickedness

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Scripture Text: Ezekiel 16:48–50

The world will not allow that it must stand before judgment, but rages against God. Let us take heed that the wrath of God may not also sweep us away.

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The Right Righteousness

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Scripture Text: Philippians 3:7–9

The righteousness of the law cannot provide confidence of mind. What does avail is God’s imputation of righteousness for Christ’s sake through faith.

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The Table of Gratitude and Grace

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Scripture Text: Luke 22:17–20

"There is a twofold reason for you to receive the Lord’s Supper. It means gratitude and praise for Christ, and grace and solace for yourself."

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Unmoved

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Scripture Text: Psalm 5:3, 7-8, 11-12

The one who trusts in God will rejoice even if the whole world should burst upon his head. Such a person would stand unmoved amid the falling ruins.

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Daily Fear

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Scripture Text: Matthew 22:8–14

"We need to cling to God and pray: Merciful God, thou hast permitted me to become a Christian, help me to continue to be one and to increase daily in faith".

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Subduing the Nations

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Scripture Text: Psalm 2:7–9

If you would change the world, believe, preach, and live the gospel. This is how God has subdued the nations and you, through his Word. Go!

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The External Word

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Scripture Text: John 5:37–40

The external word or preaching is a means through which we receive God's grace, the forgiveness of sins, and the righteousness of Christ.

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The Book of Comfort

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Scripture Text: Romans 15:1–6

The entire Scriptures were written for our learning. All Christians should make daily use of this book filled with God's word through which they find comfort.

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Stages of Faith

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Scripture Text: John 4:46–50

Pure and strong faith requires one to cast away all feelings, understanding, and reason, to trust in Christ's word, be satisfied with it, and feel secure in it.

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Nothing but Receiving

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Scripture Text: Luke 22:14–19

So far as the Holy Supper is a confession before men, the communicant proclaims Christ and teaches faith in him, spreading the kingdom of Christ.

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Triumphant Laughter

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Scripture Text: Psalm 2:1–6

God laughs at us, at our attempts to triumph through our works, our politics, our religion. He mocks these human attempts at overcoming the troubles of life.

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The Sum of the Matter

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Scripture Text: Psalm 51:1–3

The sum of the matter is this, that those persons are saved who place their trust solely in God, not in their works, nor in any creature.

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Proper Attire

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Scripture Text: Matthew 22:8–14

Faith is the appropriate attire for the wedding of God and his Bride. No one will be admitted to the marriage feast unless they are clothed in Christ.

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Equal Service

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Scripture Text: Romans 15:1–6

True service of praise is not established with revenues, laws, and programs. The only true service we all can render him is to praise and to thank him.

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Remember

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Scripture Text: Acts 22:14–16

Do not be terrified of sin but call to mind your baptism. Comfort yourself that God covenanted to forgive your sins and not condemn you for Christ's sake.

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God Wants Us

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Scripture Text: Matthew 22:1–14

If I gave God all the good works I could, it would be of no use to him; He wants my whole heart; he wants me. This marriage union is accomplished by faith.

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The Way of Faith

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Scripture Text: Psalm 1:1–6

God leads us, not in the way of sense or reason, but in the way of faith alone, even of that faith that sees in darkness and beholds things that are invisible.

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True Man and True God

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Scripture Text: Matthew 22:41–46

"Christ was both David’s true natural son, of his blood and flesh, and also David’s Lord, whom David himself must worship and hold as God."

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Unity of the Church

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Scripture Text: Romans 15:1–6

Christian unity resists sin and everything opposed to the religion of Christ, so the apostle enjoins us to be likeminded according to Christ Jesus.

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The Sin of Ingratitude

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Scripture Text: Proverbs 17:13–14

No sin is more abominable to human nature, and of none is human nature less tolerant than the sin of ingratitude, for returning love and friendship with hatred.

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The Evils of Ingratitude

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 1:3–9

"The devil takes no respite, but whenever the gospel is preached in its purity he mixes with the children of God and sows his tares."

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The Unity of the Church

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:1–6

The unity of the Church does not consist in similarity of outward forms and customs but because it represents one plain, pure gospel doctrine.

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Showing Faith

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Scripture Text: Matthew 5:14–16

This earthly life is not for our own sake but instead, our lives and everything we do, must contribute to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Holding Fast in Faith

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Scripture Text: Philippians 1:3–6

The apostle implores God that they may increase and persevere in faith. Such is the great value he places upon possessing and holding fast God’s Word.

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A Prosperity of Grace

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Scripture Text: Psalm 1:1–6

Blessed are those persons who delight in God's Word, for they will prosper in the Lord's grace. Planted near this stream of truth, their spirits will grow in faith.

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Freely Forgiven

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Scripture Text: Matthew 18:23–27

The conscience knows its standing with God only through the merits of Christ Jesus. So long as we try to appease God, the conscience is troubled.

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Standing Firmly

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:10–13

It is dangerous to live heedlessly, for the devil is likely to take you by surprise. When you think you stand securely, he is ready to strike you down.

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He Promised

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Scripture Text: Psalm 34:19–22

"God has promised me through his Son, and confirmed it through my baptism, that he who hears and sees the Son shall be delivered from sin and death."

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Enriched

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 1:4–9

"What Paul terms being enriched “in all utterance” ... is having the comfort of faith in Christ and of invocation and prayer ... the Word of God ... Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the Commandments and the Creed."

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Renewed

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:17–25

"Since Christians, by the grace and Spirit of God, are now renewed in this image of God, they are so to live that soul and spirit are righteous and pleasing to God through faith in Christ..."

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The Old Man

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:11–19

"True Christians so live that it is apparent from their lives that they keep God before their eyes and truly believe the gospel."

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One in Ten

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:11–19

We are sufficiently warned in the gospel to follow Christ, not the doctrines of men, so that no excuse will help us if we allow ourselves to be deceived.

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Calling Jesus “Lord”

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1–3

All Christians may equally call Christ “Lord.” One may be assured he serves Christ if he can call him “Lord,” for only by the Holy Spirit is he enabled to do so.

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Knowledge of Sin

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Scripture Text: 1 John 1:5–9

There is no work or merit in the kingdom, but only the acknowledgment of all our misfortune, and the reception of the gospel upon which faith depends

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Behold His Glory

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Scripture Text: John 17:24–26

"We are not only to be with him, but we are also to come to a clear, bright view of his glory. Here upon earth we have it and recognize it only by faith."

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The Authority to Proclaim

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Scripture Text: John 20:19–23

All who have been baptized and who believe in Christ have the authority and power to forgive sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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Kingdom Comfort

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Scripture Text: Matthew 9:1–7

"Let us ... remain on the right road to the kingdom of Christ with the words of the gospel which comfort the conscience: Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven."

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Fulfilling God’s Law

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Scripture Text: Romans 13:10

"We have need of the law, that love may be manifested; but if it cannot be kept without injury to our neighbor, God wants us to suspend it."

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Pleasing Service

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Scripture Text: Hebrews 11:17–19

Service is displeasing to God when done without the command and word of God. First comes love, then follows the service that will be pleasing to God.

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The Christian Life

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:11–14

The Christian life does not need much doctrine, nor many books. Indeed, the Christian life is wholly contained in faith and love.

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Faith and Love

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Scripture Text: James 2:18–26

Faith is everything and saves us, and on this account we are not idle but labor much for the benefit of our neighbor, for we have enough in Christ.

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Securing the Unseen

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Scripture Text: Hebrews 10:35–11:1

In the end, we will not see a single thing we would like to have. But faith is the principle by which we secure what we do not see. We must fully trust God...

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Follow the Pattern

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 3:14–19

Paul urges us to hold steadily to what we have received by walking as he does; shaping their belief and conduct by the pattern we have received from him.

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The Inner Man

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 3:14–19

Faith in Jesus Christ is nothing but real help and pure grace. God designs to have me as his child in Christ, placed above all things temporal and eternal.

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Appearances

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:11–16

Let us guard against everything that makes for only a show, and not reject what does not make a display, so that we do not reject Christ and God.

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The Spirit Within

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:14–16

The witness of the Holy Spirit within you is the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word, a confirmation being that you have pleasure and delight in God’s Word.

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Speaking Forgiveness

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Scripture Text: John 20:19–23

You have the power to speak the Word; whoever believes has forgiveness of sins. If they believe not, then what you speak avails nothing though it be God’s Word.

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Serving One Lord

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Scripture Text: Matthew 6:24–25

God would not have us be overanxious for our life, but labor and commend our anxiety to him, so, he does not allow us to have another Lord besides himself.

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Tempting Christ

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1–11

"The eternal Son of God was from the beginning with his church and with the people who received the promise of his coming in the form of man."

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Our Only Help

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Scripture Text: Luke 10:30–35

The man who lies half dead, wounded and stripped of his clothing, is all mankind. The Samaritan is our Lord Jesus Christ Cling to him, your only help.

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Adhering to the Word

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 3:1, 13

We must lay hold of the gospel in such a way that we may stand and say: “Not because a certain one taught, do I believe ... the doctrine itself is right."

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We Are the Widow

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Scripture Text: Luke 7:11–15

The widow's misfortune is portrayed here so that we might learn that with God nothing is impossible, whether it be misfortune, calamity, anger, or whatever.

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The Righteousness of God

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Scripture Text: Romans 3:19–24

Jesus freely gives me his life with all his works, so that I may appropriate them to myself as a possession that is my own but is bestowed upon me as a free gift.

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Thy Will Be Done

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Scripture Text: Matthew 22:34–39

"Human nature alone will never be able to accomplish what God requires in this commandment, namely, that we surrender our will to the will of God..."

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The Firm Assurance of Faith

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Scripture Text: Luke 7:11–15

The more misery and death are in us, the more richly we may find comfort and life in Christ Jesus, provided we hold fast to him by faith through his Word.

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Suffering Life

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:15b–18

What would all the riches and nobility of the world be compared with being named and chosen by God himself, called his son, the heir of exalted divine majesty?

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The Anxious World

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Scripture Text: Matthew 6:30–34

Christians need not waver, nor stake their affairs on that which is uncertain, vainly caring for the future, but at all times do that which is right.

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First Things First

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Scripture Text: Matthew 6:25–33

Do this for the honor of God and for your own benefit: strive after the great and eternal good. If you attain and keep this, the rest will surely take care of itself.

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The Gracious Offer

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Scripture Text: Luke 18:9–14

The preaching of the precious gospel offers God’s grace and mercy in Christ, which is offered to condemned sinners without any merit of their own.

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The Sooner the Better

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 4:26–27

if overcome by wrath and led to rashness, do not continue in it, do not harbor it, but subdue and restrain it, the sooner the better.

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The Chief Good

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Scripture Text: Luke 10:25–28

To love God with all the mind is to cleave to him who is our chief good, to do nothing against his will, to take nothing except what is pleasing to God.

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The Sin Remover

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Scripture Text: John 1:29

If you would be freed from your sins, do not chastise yourself with them, but seize Christ, the one who has taken your sins upon himself.

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The House of God

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Scripture Text: Luke 19:45–46

"Wherever God’s Word is preached, there is God’s own true house, there God most certainly dwells with his grace. Wherever his gospel is, there..."

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Craving Riches

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Scripture Text: 1 Timothy 6:10

Love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. Through this craving some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

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The Bold Faith of Lepers

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:11–13

The lepers went boldly to meet Jesus, certain that he could heal them. Standing in firmness and sincerity against doubt, they confidently prayed.

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The Consolation of Faith

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:12–17

You need no longer be afraid of condemnation because of your unworthiness for you have the consolation of faith, the assurance of grace.

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Trusting the Gospel

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Scripture Text: Mark 7:31–35

Faith grows out of the Word of God, producing the good fruit of love and mercy and all manner of godly care for one's neighbor.

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Faithful Suffering

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Scripture Text: 1 Peter 5:6–10

"It assuages and comforts the sufferer beyond measure to know that he does not suffer alone, but with a great multitude."

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That Which Makes for Peace

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Scripture Text: Luke 19:41–42

God has opened the treasures of his holy gospel to us, so we may learn his will. Will we believe and know peace or disbelieve and suffer wrath?

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Nothing More

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Scripture Text: Luke 17:3–5

"We should therefore despair of ourselves and pray to God for faith as the apostles did. When we have faith we need nothing more..."

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Evident Faith

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Scripture Text: Matthew 7:21

Once we have been baptized into Christ and believe, his will is that we should then live accordingly, obeying God and doing what is commanded.

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God’s Dollar

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Scripture Text: Mark 8:4–6

"Christ commands the disciples to set the loaves before the multitude, by which he shows that he will administer his work and gifts through the instrumentality of human agencies."

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Blessed Ears

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Scripture Text: Matthew 13:15–17

What would it help the critics of Christ if the gospel was preached twice as clearly as it is? They are so deafened by their own conceits that they can hear nothing else.

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No Other Gods

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Scripture Text: Exodus 20:1–3

"When we come before God the Father, Christ will say: Father! Although they have not wholly fulfilled thy law, yet I have done so, let this be to their benefit because they believe in me."

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A Cup of Cold Water

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Scripture Text: 1 John 3:14–18

"Oh, how heavy and terrible the impending judgment for those who have denied to Christ the Lord, in his thirst, even the cup of cold water."

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That They May Hear and Believe

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Scripture Text: Mark 7:32–35

Luther uses the this story to illustrate how office of ministry brings the Word to people so that they may hear and be given faith to believe.

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The Heavenly Force

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Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 3:5–11

The Spirit impresses Christ and his works upon the heart, making it a true book which does not consist in tracing mere letters and words, but in true life and action.

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Faith Bears Fruit

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Scripture Text: Matthew 7:15–20

Good works do not make one pious or good. One must first be good and pious at heart. The tree must first be there to bear the fruit.

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Exercise Judgment

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Scripture Text: Matthew 7:15

So much of what false teachers' have afflicted the church with in recent decades is easily overcome by exercising judgment through the Word.

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Trusting God with the Future

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Scripture Text: Mark 8:8

No one thinks of saving for posterity, but live as if they rejoice in destroying everything at once. Yet in all this destruction God will nevertheless help us.

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God Will Take Care of You

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Scripture Text: Mark 8:1–2

"All who faithfully cling to the Word of God will be fed by God; for that is the nature and power of faith, which flows alone out of the Word of God."

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Eternal Delight

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Scripture Text: Genesis 8:22

Our eternal life, attained through faith in Christ. will be to know God, delight in his wisdom, and enjoy the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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Worthy of Your Calling

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 3:20–4:1

"The chief thing that should influence a Christian’s outward walk is the remembrance of his calling and appointment by God."

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Led by the Spirit

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:12–14

"To be 'led by the Spirit of God' means to be given a heart which gladly hears God’s Word and believes that in Christ it has grace and the forgiveness of sins."

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Resist!

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Scripture Text: James 1:19–20

"It is natural for us to feel hurt when suffering, injustice, and violence attack us...it becomes necessary to check and restrain the feelings of anger..."

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The Sinful Conscience

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Scripture Text: Luke 5:4–8

"Not until Peter considered himself unworthy did he become really worthy. Just because you are a sinful person you must the more trust in God."

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Without Distinction

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Scripture Text: Luke 6:35–36

"Christians must not seek their own, but look at all alike, whether friend or foe, as our heavenly Father does. Without such mercy, there is no true faith."

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Bold Peace

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Scripture Text: Philippians 4:6–7

"There is peace, strength and comfort in the heart, so that the heart cares for no evil, is really bolder and more joyful in its presence than in its absence."

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The Majestic Command

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Scripture Text: Genesis 6:21–22

Noah kept his eye on the majesty of him who gave the command. That was enough for him, even though the command seemed absurd or impossible.

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Eat What Is in Front of You

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Scripture Text: Genesis 6:21–22

God performs his miracles along the lines of natural law. Looking for bread from heaven, rather than by human means, tests God and is a sin.

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A Constant Dying

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:12–13

Christians have help and strength to resist and mortify sin. and must constantly put to death the flesh lest they be put to death by it.

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Our Sufficiency

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Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 3:4–6

It is a glory that every preacher may be able to say with full confidence that he trusts God for teaching and preaching truly the Word of God.

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Bless the Work of Our Hands

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Scripture Text: Luke 5:4

Christ keeps aloof from the lazy, unfaithful idlers who will not do as they have been commanded, and will not keep their hands and feet from straying.

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On Being Useful

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Scripture Text: Luke 5:4–10

Christ has not come to make you afraid, but to remove your sins and distress from you. “Fear not,” he speaks to your heart, and to the whole world.

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The Curse of Humanity

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Scripture Text: 1 Timothy 6:6–10

The curse of humanity is they shall never be satisfied and must endure heartache and everlasting destruction through the things they have coveted.

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No Worries

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Scripture Text: Luke 15:3–7

If you only remain under Christ's protection and lie still upon his shoulders, you need not be troubled about sin, death, or hell, for he defends you.

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God Remembered

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Scripture Text: Genesis 7:23–8:1

No life is so difficult as the life of faith, depending only upon the promises of God when the who world seems to say, "God has forgotten all about you."

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Revelation of the Divine

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Scripture Text: Romans 11:33–36

Scripture shows us that in God there are three persons — not three Gods or three kinds of divinity, but the same undivided, divine essence.

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Our Neighbor’s Honor

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Scripture Text: Luke 15:1–5

We are to cover the shame of our neighbor with our own honor and piety, not cause wounds caused by gossip that we cannot heal.

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Helping Sinners

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Scripture Text: Luke 15:1–2

"We should rebuke and deal with the sinner in earnest; yet we are not to despise but sincerely to love him."

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The Humble Gospel

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1–3

"The tongue of a minister — the language he employs — must be of that simplicity which preaches naught but Christ," and brings him the glory.

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Misdirection

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Scripture Text: Luke 24:36–43

We are not to be deceived by so-called ghosts, which are not souls but instead, demons bent on misdirecting a believer's focus on the living Christ.

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The Inclination of the Heart

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Scripture Text: Genesis 8:20–22

Even pious people can scarcely stand firm, often being entangled by gross sins and natural corruptions, for original sin is complete lawlessness.

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Intolerant

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Scripture Text: 1 John 3:13

We teach all to trust in the grace of God, not in their own worthiness, and to render him gratitude for his grace. This is intolerable to the world.

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The Divine Reminder

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Scripture Text: Romans 6:15–16

Although the Christians senses within himself the presence of evil thoughts and lusts, yet his faith and the Holy Spirit remind him of his baptism.

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Blind to Grace

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Scripture Text: Psalm 33:4–5

God showers his gifts on an ungrateful world, whose people go about their lives as though sight and hearing were due them. And so, we miss God's grace.

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Stewards of the Gospel

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 4:1

Christians do not follow pastors; they follow Christ Jesus. Pastors preach the gospel, a message that leads lost sheep to the one who saves them.

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The Righteous Man

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Scripture Text: Genesis 6:8–10

Noah is called “just” because he first believed, then “perfect” (“upright”) because he walked in the fear of God and conscientiously avoided sins.

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A Friend of Sinners

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Scripture Text: Luke 15:1–2

The religious people were enemies of Christ because of the people Jesus called his friends: sinners who wanted to follow him.

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Nothing To Do

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Scripture Text: Luke 14:23

When one senses his wretchedness, then is the time to believe in Jesus Christ. There are no other means to save you, save be baptized and believe.

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The Cares of the Church

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Scripture Text: Psalm 46:1–3

"Christians have regard for God’s Word and believe that God cares for them. They commend all things to him and at his word go on with courage."

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The Cure for the Conscience

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Scripture Text: John 3:14–15

"Reason argues: You have sinned, you must also atone for your sin. The gospel of Christ says: You have sinned, another must atone for you."

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The Golden Age

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Scripture Text: Genesis 7:1

We are in the golden age because we have the light of God’s Word and the sacraments are rightly administered in our churches.

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The Double Blessing

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Scripture Text: Romans 6:20–23

The service of righteousness in Christ has the double blessing of a clear conscience before God and the rich and incorruptible reward of eternal life.

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Proof of Faith

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Scripture Text: 1 John 3:13–16

Faith is not an inactive and lifeless thing. When there is faith in the heart, its power will be manifested toward God and one's neighbor.

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The Power of the Resurrection

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Scripture Text: John 20:26–29

It is by the power of the resurrection of Christ that Thomas, and us, who are so deep and obdurate in unbelief, are so suddenly changed.

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The Heavy Heart

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Scripture Text: John 20:24–25

The most religious person will be lost and condemned if he will not believe. For there is no forgiveness of sins, nor salvation, if one does not believe.

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Preference

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Scripture Text: Luke 14:15–18

We make excuses, preferring many things against the gospel, for we are no better than were the ancient Jews, who also rejected the gospel for the law.

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Division

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17–21

Wherever the Word of God has a foothold, there the devil will be. He will always build his taverns and kitchens by the side of God’s house.

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Every Christian

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 20:21–23

Jesus sends every Christian to instruct and teach his neighbor, that he may also come to Christ, a power not reserved for popes, bishops, and pastors.

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Being Acceptable to God

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Scripture Text: Luke 16:19–21

"Poverty and suffering make no one acceptable to God; but if he is already acceptable to God, his poverty and suffering are precious in God’s eyes."

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Dead and Alive

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Scripture Text: Romans 6:6–11

This old man must be crucified, executed, put out of the way, even here in this life. Were he remains in his strength, faith and spirit cannot be.

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Nagging Questions

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Scripture Text: Romans 11:33–34

If you wish to proceed wisely and truly apprehend God, you can do no better than to be interested in his Word where he has revealed himself.

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The Comfort of Communion

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Scripture Text: Luke 14:16–17

The preaching of Christ feeds his guests through holy baptism, comforting and strengthening them through the Sacrament of his body and blood.

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The Death that Brings Life

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 6:3–11

Through baptism, Christ dedicates us to himself — he decides for us, elects us — and imparts to us the power of his death and resurrection.

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The Need of a Savior

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 3:13–15

Before man may receive righteousness and eternal life, there must come One who has eternal righteousness and life, who appeases God’s wrath.

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The Overthrow of Nature

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Scripture Text: John 3:5–8

We must abandon the life of the flesh and enter into new life, dead to the old. There must be a real change and an overthrow of nature and feeling.

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One God, One Mind

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1–7

Knowing that you all embrace the one true God's Word, hold together in one faith and one mind, not disagreeing as though you had many gods.

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The Bread of Life

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 6:48–51

"In these words the soul finds a well prepared table, at which it satisfies all hunger; for it knows of a certainty that he who speaks cannot lie."

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God Forbid!

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 6:14–15

Sin is not forgiven so that we may sin all the more, taking God's grace for granted and taking advantage, but so that conscience is free to love God.

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True Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 23:37

"Faith, if it is true faith, is of such a nature that it does not rely upon itself, but holds to Christ, and takes refuge under his righteousness."

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Losing Faith in Self

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Scripture Text: John 6:44

The preaching of the law shows us that our entire lives and characters, however holy and beautiful they may seem, are nothing before God.

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Resembling Cain

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 4:8

All people are in ancient Cain's very same condition, for unless our nature is helped by the Spirit of God, it cannot maintain itself.

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Temperance

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:15–20

Because God has so richly shed upon us the gospel of light, we ought in honor and gratitude to him try to reform and temper ourselves.

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The Two Kingdoms

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 22:15–21

The two powers, God’s and Caesar’s, or spiritual and temporal kingdoms, must be kept apart, Christians especially rendering to each the honor due.

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The Death of Sin

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 6:1–4

Christ Jesus was buried that he might, through forgiveness, cover up, mortify, and destroy our sin, whether actually committed or inherent in us.

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Strong Medicine

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 5:20–21

God provides strong medicine to cure the sinful condition but this gives no license to make oneself ill so that more medicine may be received.

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Blessed Eyes

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Scripture Text: Luke 10:21–24

You are blessed if your have heard and seen with your heart the Lord Jesus Christ, for there are those who have heard and seen without perception.

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Subject to Hope

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Scripture Text: Romans 8:20–23

Since man has fallen in sin, we all — the whole creation — must suffer the consequence and be subject to futility and vanity...and yet may have hope.

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Exercising Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 10:1–4

Following Christ means that our whole life is a constant exercise of faith, whereby we are assured that we have favor with God because of him.

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The Rest of Conscience

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Scripture Text: John 3:17–18

My conscience must rest upon the foundation, the eternal, all-knowing truth that God alone is truth, and must rest upon him and nothing else.

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The Humble Fear of God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 5:5–6

God never lays his hand upon us in order that we would be damned but pursues a course that leads us to repentance, so we would seek his grace.

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God's Image in Our Neighbor

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 9:5–6

Man is made in God's image and God wills that we revere his image in our neighbor, doing all we can for him, protecting him and doing him good.

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Cain or Abel

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 John 3:10–12

In Cain, we see the hateful world, and on the other hand, that poor, abject Abel well represents the obscure little brotherhood: the Church of Christ.

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The Only and True Light

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 1:6–8

"All who preach the doctrines of men make man the light, lead men away from God to themselves, and set themselves up as the true Light."

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Our Rock and Anchor

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 3:16

"Come what will, let us say: Here is God’s Word; that is my rock and anchor; to that I cling and that abides; and where that abides, there I abide also."

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The Hope of Glory

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 8:19–25

Christians are to be confident of eternal glory, to implore the Lord God to hasten the Day, for Jesus has taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”

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Christ's Peace

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:27

We must be able to say that we know we have God’s pledge and the witness of the Holy Spirit, that he wants to be our Father through Christ, his Son.

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If You Love Me

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:15–17

Experience teaches how difficult it is to keep Christ's Word, but the Christian will love Christ, his Word, and his kingdom more than all things of the earth.

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Leave

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 2:24

God uses marriage to get us out of our parents' homes so we may grow up, make a home and family of our own, and enjoy the blessings of that estate.

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Woman

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 2:21–23

One of the sweetest pleasures of Christian marriage is not sexual, that the blessing of the sense of completeness at being merely with one another.

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Bless

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:8–9

You may be a blessing to your neighbor because you know you are a child of God, received into his grace, and living in the sure hope of salvation.

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The Dawn of Glory

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 8:18–19

The whole creation cries out for a speedy end of these injustices and abuses of the ungodly, and for the dawning of glory for the children of God!

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Delusions

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Scripture Text: Psalm 4:2

If the affections and thoughts of men are without faith in God, they are without Christ and his Word, and therefore, they are without the truth.

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Just Passing Through

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Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:11–12

God would have us occupy this world as guests, striving after an eternal kingdom, abstaining from lusts, maintaining a godly life of good works.

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A Revelation

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 2:20–24

The affection of the intended husband toward his betrothed spouse is of a particular and elevated kind, a knowledge and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

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Prayer in Love

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Philippians 1:9–11

Christians should love and pray for the salvation of all, for the sanctification of God’s name, the coming of his kingdom, and the fulfilment of his will.

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Journey on in Joy

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Psalm 55:12

Even in danger and death, you have a faithful Father and Savior, who has taken you into his own hand, and will preserve you. Journey on in joy.

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Open Ears

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:10–12

God’s ears are open to the prayers of the righteous, looking upon you with gracious, winning eyes, his ears alert even to the faintest sound of prayer.

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Christ in You

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Jude 3–4

One may confess Christ but still deny him in deeds and works, by insisting he is his own lord through his religious observances being the way to salvation.

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Spirit Fall

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Acts 10:44–48

It is not enough that Christ be preached; the Word must be believed. So, God sends the Holy Spirit to impress the preaching upon the heart.

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The Precondition of Kindness

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Hebrews 11:5–6

It is impossible to love, where no faith exists, and impossible to believe, where there is no love. Love of neighbor depends upon the love of God.

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The Inner Person

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 16:19–31

We are not condemned because we have great riches, but because we are attached to them and trust in them, instead of in Jesus Christ the Lord.

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Beware

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Scripture Text: Galatians 1:9

God often lays hold upon leaders of sects who blaspheme with false doctrines, inflicting on them unusual punishments for the sake of warning others.

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Harmony

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 12:16

As long as unity of faith and oneness of mind survive, the true Church of God abides, so we must be careful to cherish the virtue of harmony.

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Anger Management

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:10

An angry heart knows no moderation, fanning a tiny spark into a conflagration, retaliating and cursing, committing a greater wrong than suffered.

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Like God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 John 3:1–3

The day will come when only righteousness and holiness shall dwell on the earth — none but godly, righteous souls — for we shall be like God.

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Suffering

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 8:18

"What is temporal suffering, however protracted, contrasted with eternal life? It is not worthy to be called suffering or to be esteemed meritorious."

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The Importance of Sanity

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 4:7

It is not becoming of Christians to lead heathenish lives, as they have something nobler to do. They are to be occupied with the Word of God.

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One Divine Majesty

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 28:19–20

Those who would follow their reason in the things dealt with in the article of the Trinity, will reject the Word, and be defeated in their "wisdom."

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Be Watchful

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 5:8

The primitive church would assemble daily for prayer, morning and evening, and also at certain other appointed hours, and frequently entire nights.

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The Spirit's Work

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Acts 2:1–4

The Spirit, pouring into our hearts, makes us different beings, creatures who love and obey God. This is simply the manifestation of his work in the heart.

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The Guide

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:13

The Holy Spirit has comes to enlighten your hearts, so that you will understand the truth, and will call to remembrance all things of Christ.

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The Freed Heart

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:1

May the Holy Spirit working through the Word convince you that the Father would have your heart free, at peace with him through faith in his Son.

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The Schoolmaster

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:25–26

Church is where it happens. What happens there but God's Spirit working through the read and preached Word? We avoid the assembly at our peril.

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The House Companion

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 3:16

We are loved of God through Christ Jesus and enjoy his favor and grace, but also have the great promises of the Lord himself dwelling completely in us.

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Where God Dwells

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:23

Christ binds the church to his Word and dwells in the midst of those who gather for the teaching and preaching of it, and live under its rule.

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Do Not Despair

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 14:18

Do not judge things according to feelings but keep to the Word and the comfort of preaching which the Holy Spirit gives to distressed consciences.

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Teaching Our Hearts to Believe

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 15:26

The office of the Holy Spirit is, namely, to invest the treasure — Christ and all he has, to enfold him in your heart so that Christ Jesus may be your own.

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The True Church of Christ

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:1–3

The Church is not known by the name on the sign or external appearance but those who have real knowledge of Christ in his Word and promises.

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Suffering

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:20

Why does God permit his own to suffer? In order to subdue the free will, that we should accustom ourselves to build alone upon Christ.

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The Implanted Word

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: James 1:21

"Take heed to accept in purity and to maintain with patience the Word so graciously and richly given you by God without effort or merit on your part."

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The Spirit of a Lifetime

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 6:3

The Lord suffers a lifetime with us, giving us the opportunity to repent and believe in his Savior. But he will suffer no longer than a limited lifetime.

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The Witness

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 John 5:7

May you hear the Word of God and believe because the Spirit has born witness with your spirit that this word comes from God, and is for you.

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Asking Properly

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:23

May you know the will of the Father so that you may ask rightly in the Son's name, knowing that you receive for Christ's sake, not by your own merit.

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The Offense of the Gospel

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:2

The gospel is a teaching that gives the world nothing but offense — a thing unworthy to be heard or tolerated because it is not worldly, but spiritual.

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The Sign of a Christian

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Mark 16:17–18

The great and powerful work of all true Christians is, by God’s grace, to keep the faith so that they may have a clear conscience and peace before God.

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The Mission of Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Mark 16:15

Those who would believe and preach the gospel, must cast aside all works supposed to make one just and holy , and allow nothing to remain but faith.

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Knowing Christ

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 2 Peter 3:18

Christ as a gift makes you a Christian and nourishes your faith, but Christ as an example moves your faith to do good works for your neighbor.

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Two Kingdoms

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 13:1–2

In the gospel is an entirely different, a spiritual government, that exists alone in the Word, by which sinners are convicted and Christ proclaimed.

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Hidden Strength

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 14:1

Christ hung upon the cross that we might learn how deeply strength lies hidden under weakness, and learn to know his strength in our weakness.

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Christians by Birth

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: James 1:18

We are joint heirs with Christ by believing on the same Lord Jesus Christ alone and the promises of his word and the Father's grace are ours.

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Resurrection Blessings

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: James 1:17

Cling to the great and glorious gifts of the resurrection: the gospel, holy Baptism, the power of the Holy Spirit, and comfort in all adversity.

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Clinging Faith

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Scripture Text: 1 John 5:4

When despairing, our works must immediately sink out of sight, leaving no help or victory except the faith that clings to the word of Christ the Lord.

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Election

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 11:33

It is not for human beings to say what is right or wrong, whether an act or ruling is divine, for that is left to God alone who elects those who believe.

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Pure Grace and Mercy

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 11:33–36

Out of pure grace and mercy, God elects, as beneficiaries of his goodness, the poor, and wretched, and unworthy, who acknowledge themselves guilty.

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The Poor Man

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ecclesiastes 9:15

We are to remember the poor, as the apostles urged, but there is another poor Man whom the whole world would forget, while Christians remember.

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The Shepherd Calls

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 10:11

Christ's kingdom abounds in grace and mercy for he is a comforting, friendly shepherd, who tenderly invites, and all people to come to him.

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Sure Hope

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:24

If you believe that Christ died to save you from all evil, and hold fast to that word, you will find it so certain and sure that no creature can overthrow it.

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The Risen Life

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:1–5

Through Christ's death, you are redeemed from sin and death, raised to an imperishable life you cannot yet perceive in yourselves except through faith.

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Faith Is the Victory

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 John 5:4–5

We do not have to win any battles, but only to keep the victory that has already been won, by holding onto faith in Christ and his cross.

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Fellowship with the Weak

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 22:14

To keep company with the "weak Christ" is the highest wisdom on earth, and a second is like it, to bear with his weak followers, the church.

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The Gentle Rebuke of the Greatest Sin

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Mark 16:9–14

Unbelief is the greatest sin there is, for it cares not for God or at least, cares little for him who is to be loved with one's whole heart and entire being.

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Known by the Shepherd

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 10:14

The true church is not known by its government or its name but because it is known by its Shepherd and knows him, having faith in him alone.

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Believing through the Spirit

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Scripture Text: 1 John 5:1

Scripture teaches that we cannot be saved by our own works, but through hearing and believing by the power of his Spirit that Jesus is the Christ .

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Raised to New Life

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:1–4

There is a great Day coming when we will be raised bodily from the dead, but in the meantime, we are being raised spiritually into a better existence.

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An Everlasting Covenant

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Isaiah 55:3

Christ cannot remain in death — although he may suffer death by reason of his human nature — yet he must of his own power rise from the dead.

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Believing the Judgment

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Scripture Text: John 16:8–11

The world, seeing no wrong with itself, does not receive one part of Christ's word, reproval, and so, seeing no need of it, cannot receive his grace.

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The Righteousness of Christians

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 16:8–10

Christ is the righteousness of Christians before God, going to the Father, that is, suffering and rising for us, and thereby reconciling us to the Father.

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Contending for the Sheep

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ezekiel 34:1–2

The role of the pastor or shepherd is to feed the sheep, and to protect them from all evil, which begins and ends with proper feeding from the Word.

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Be Certain

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 4:10–11

Be careful that what you hear from the pulpit is the sure Word of God instead of those doctrines that suit a pastor's or denomination's agenda.

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No Trifling Matter

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 24:36

We are not to trifle with the Scriptures, else there would then be no reliable and permanent foundation whereon the conscience may rely.

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The Mind of Faith

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Scripture Text: Luke 24:26–27

Only devout, childlike people may grasp and understand the Bible, those who say by God's grace that because he has said it, then they do believe it.

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Dear Brothers

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 20:17

It is not enough to know the historical fact of Jesus, but to also know that he calls us dear brothers, infusing his own righteousness and glory into us who believe.

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Peace

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Scripture Text: John 20:19

It is comforting to hear Jesus tell us that his Father is also our Father, for as Jesus returns to him, we too, will one day ascend to our God in heaven.

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My Father and Your Father

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 20:16–17

It is comforting to hear Jesus tell us that his Father is also our Father, for as Jesus returns to him, we too, will one day ascend to our God in heaven.

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On the Third Day

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 15:3–4

Christ lay in the tomb for a part of three days, rising on the third, but what we should note is not so much the number but the fact that he truly died.

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Mercy, Not Merit

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Scripture Text: Matthew 28:10

Jesus calls us his brothers, not because of anything we have done to merit this inclusion in his family, but because we believe on him for salvation.

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Freedom through Word and Sacraments

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:27–31

God's Word and works in the Sacraments are not idle, but instead set people free from sin, death, the devil, and every sort of fear.

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The Word of Salvation

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Scripture Text: Acts 13:26

You may be a birthright Jew, or a birthright Quaker, but without being born again, a salvation through the Word of Christ, there can be no salvation.

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Bread for Your Neighbor

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 10:16–17

When we receive Holy Communion, we should be careful to increase love, to find our neighbor who is in need and reach out to him in Christ's name.

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Enduring Witness

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Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:20–21

If you would be a Christian, then you must not be terribly alarmed or impatient at the the torments of the world and of the devil.

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A Testimony

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23–25

We have the clear Word of God as testimony for us who believe, that Christ gave himself as a grace to be received in the bread and wine of his table.

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A Fresh Lump

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 5:1–7

May you be a fresh lump with whom Christ Jesus being worked in, that the grace and power of the Spirit may continue to work out your salvation.

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Drinking the Word

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1–4

The one who desires Holy Communion should receive all of it, not the bread alone but the cup of the New Covenant in Christ's blood as well.

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Expatriates

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Scripture Text: Philippians 3:20–21

"The baptized Christian is born a citizen of heaven through baptism. We should be mindful of this fact and walk here as if native there."

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Call on Him

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Scripture Text: Isaiah 55:6–7

We may know the Lord's presence everywhere through the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the blessed Sacraments.

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Believing the Unbelievable

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Scripture Text: Hebrews 11:5

May you have faith in God, believing the unbelievable, that sin and death are overcome for you, not because you earned it, but for Christ's sake.

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Taken Up

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Scripture Text: Genesis 5:24

We aim to believe in what is written in the words of Scripture, so that we may have a faith like Enoch, faith in the God who takes up his people to himself.

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The Rock

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Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1–4

We are left to believe the Word, the word of Christ, and his works that follow after us. not in our own works, but by faith in the word of the cross.

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Our Boast

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Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 11:21b–22

The Christian life is not a matter of outward appearance but of living by the Word and through faith in and under the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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Just Condemnation

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Scripture Text: John 16:8–9

God demands admission or confession of sin, and that people everywhere repent of their sins, turning away from self to God through his Savior.

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Hold Fast

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Scripture Text: John 16:16

When anxiety, distress, or other trials come your way, hold fast to the Word, keep the faith, you will see Christ clearly there, and he will again bring you joy.

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Confess and Believe

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Scripture Text: Romans 10:8–10

We confess that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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Good for the Soul

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Scripture Text: Psalm 32:1–5

The old saying that confession is good for the soul is not sufficiently correct; it is the absolute forgiveness of sins that is good for the souls of sinners.

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Consider Him

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Scripture Text: Galatians 5:22–26

One finds in Jesus strength and comfort against all vice and bad habits, as true Christians incorporate the life and name of Christ into their own lives.

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Faith over Feelings

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Scripture Text: Isaiah 53:4–6

Do not try to work yourself up to a feeling of being forgiven and loved by God, but ask him for the faith to know Christ crucified, and the assurance of salvation.

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For You

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Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:21–22

No one but Christ Jesus has suffered for the sins of others, yet his passion, his suffering and death, avail for the salvation of every sinner who believes on him.

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The Light of Men

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Scripture Text: John 1:1–4

Whoever disregards the life of Christ on earth, wishing to find eternal life in some other way than he accomplished for us, fails to find salvation.

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A Thorn in the Flesh

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Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 12:7–10

In order to keep our focus on God, instead of on self, we are sometimes given a gift: an affliction of the flesh that makes us rely upon God.

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You Crucified Him

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Scripture Text: Isaiah 53:4–7

It is the sin of all who have ever lived — including you and me — that sent Christ Jesus to the cross to pay the ransom for of a whole world of sinners.

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Holding Faith

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Scripture Text: John 8:51

Life is sometimes difficult, so we must hold firmly in faith to the word and promises of God in Jesus Christ found in the Scriptures, The Holy Bible.

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Our Only Hope

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Scripture Text: John 6:40

This is our hope — our only hope: Christ Jesus — that we might believe in him, and having such faith, come to see him on that great and glorious Day.

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Imitators of God

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Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:1–2

Like children imitating their parents, we should imitate God, especially in doing good things for our neighbors so that the Father is glorified in us.

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All Things

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Scripture Text: 2 Peter 2:5

We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things, trusting him through his Word, more than feelings, works, or even his good gifts.

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Another Son

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:25

God will keep his promise that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent, establishing Seth in that line that would herald the Savior.

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Who Do You Trust?

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:23–24

We are to turn the other cheek, trusting in God above all things — even government, even ourselves — that he will avenge wrongdoing.

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East of Eden

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:16

Lack of faith is what drives us East of Eden, away from the presence of God, the communion of saints, the church, Christ's kingdom, and eternal life.

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Uncovenanted Mercy

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:15

God may show mercy even to the unjust so that they may have time to repent and know the full and certain assurance of his love and care.

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Unthwarted

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:10–11

Nothing would thwart God's plan, not even Adam's and Eve's disobedience — our our own. He has promised a Savior, and delivered on his promise.

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A Proper Response

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Scripture Text: Genesis 4:8–9

Be careful how you respond to God when he confronts you with your sins, especially when it involves your neighbor, or family, your closest neighbors.

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The Blessed Dead

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 4:8–10

God has no desire to forget us and so, those who love the Lord will live on in his memory and in another, blessed life so that we may remain in his love.

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The Acceptable Time

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 6:1–2

Whatever day it is, the promise of the gospel abounds for you, making it the acceptable day for your salvation. Believe! and it will be a brand new day.

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The Office of Disgrace

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 8:48–49

The office of the ministry will always be disgraced by some, as Christ Jesus himself was dishonored, simply because his Word is proclaimed as truth.

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The Pious Pastor

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: John 8:45–47

The preacher must not present an obstacle to the Word that results from his life, and especially from his doctrine, so they refuse to believe because of him.

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All the More Reason

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:1–3

We are weak in the flesh, yes, but this is all the more reason to strive for purity and to live in holiness since Christ Jesus has made us holy.

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The Strong Man

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 11:14

Jesus Christ is the "strong man" who uses his gospel word to overpower the dumb, deaf, blind, and demon-possessed, converting where he wills.

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Suffering Fools

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 11:19–20

There have been and will always be those who would take advantage of your liberty in Christ, insisting you must do this and that to be saved.

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The Cleansed Conscience

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Hebrews 9:13–14

One needs more than purification of the body in order to be at peace with God. The conscience must be cleansed by faith in the shed blood of Jesus.

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Don't Neglect It

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 5:20–6:1

Read the Bible on your own, for sure. But get yourself to church to hear the Word read and proclaimed among God's community. He speaks there.

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More and More

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1

There should be a grateful and increasing degree of perfection in the doctrines we have received, perceiving our errors and striving to mend our ways.

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The Beginning of Salvation

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Genesis 8:20–22

Everyone — even old Noah, your pastor, and your child — is a sinner who can do nothing without God's assistance. Admit it, and salvation begins.

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The Unbelieving Heart

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 11:24–26

The wastelands of unclean spirits are nothing more than unbelieving hearts, Evil is anxious to return home, so keep believing and exercising your faith.

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Crumbs of Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 15:21–28

The law condemns but the gospel takes away all despair, so that, even if one has only some crumbs of faith, she may believe and be a child of God.

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God's Bare Word

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 15:21–23a

The bare Word of God is what must make the difference for us — not disappointment or glee or any other feeling. Cling to the Word alone!

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The Same Submission

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Galatians 5:13–14

All works of love, then, must be directed, as commanded, to our needy neighbors. In these lowly ones we are to find, love, serve, and honor God.

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Our Promise

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 4:5–7

Be careful that you are not tempted to believe twisted Scriptures, especially when it concerns false promises for your soul. Christ alone is our Promise.

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Spiritual Sustenance

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 4:1–4

We do not live by the nourishment of the body alone. We also need spiritual sustenance, or as Jesus says, "that word that proceeds from the mouth of God"

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Ask

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 18:35–42

What do you want Jesus to do for you? Heal some spiritual blindness? Increase your faith? Hear the gospel and receive God's grace? Ask and you shall receive.

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A Patient Lent

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:21–23

Jesus was able to be patient with his accusers and attackers because he did not entrust himself to their judgment but to him who judges justly.

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Fasting

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 3:16–4:1

We should cheerfully suffer want and temptation for the service of God and the good of our neighbor, like Christ did for us.

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The Mystery Revealed

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 18:31–34

"Reason, flesh and blood, cannot understand, nor grasp that the Scriptures should say how the Son of man must be crucified...to suffer for us."

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Owe Your Neighbor

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 13:8

We are to owe no person anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law and commandments.

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The Love of Neighbor

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 13:9

If you do not love your neighbor, your conscience will condemn you. Without trust in a forgiving Father, you will be overwhelmed with guilt.

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Clang

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1, 7

The gifts of God are to be used in service of neighbor so that God receives the glory for our actions. This is accomplished when we serve with love.

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Entrusting

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:21–23

You just can't win sometimes. Trying to defend yourself does not work; you just get judged all the more. All you can do is entrust yourself to God.

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The Purge

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 5:6-7

We are forgiven only if we continue in faith and are occupied with purging out the impurity that remains in us. Life is daily repentance and forgiveness: purging.

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You Must

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:12–13

Are you gracious or harsh and demanding of others? We must show mercy and grace to our neighbor, as we have been shown these by Christ.

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The Faith of Another

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 8:10–13

God can bring life and healing to the lives of others through your faith, as seen in biblical examples like the centurion who had faith for another.

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Noticing the Heart of Jesus

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 18:31

Jesus came to earth to do his Father's will, to die for a world's sin. It was his passion, his Plan A; there was no Plan B.

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Whatever

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:16–17

All works are good, so long as they are done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for his glory, as directed by him rather than by one's own ability.

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A Mystery

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 8:9–10

Don't you love a good mystery, one told well and ends well? That is what Jesus came to proclaim, a mystery for the ages revealed for you.

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Equality of Believers

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 12:20–25

Peter's and Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of believers is central to Paul's teaching on honoring weaker members of the body of Christ.

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No Doubt

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 20:14–16

The gospel leaves us no room to doubt the Lord's favor, for the first and the last to believe his word will receive his eternal and generous salvation.

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The Greatest

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 13:12–13

When there is but infinite day, we will require faith no more, nor hope. Love is the permanent thing, and therefore, the greatest of the three that now abide.

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True Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 8:1–3

Come to Christ because you are a sinner, not because you think he must have someone as great and pious as you. Come with faith in him, not in yourself.

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Run to Win

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 9:23–27

A Christian does not live life aimlessly. This life is a race to the prize, eternal life in Jesus Christ, and so, must be run with passion and purpose.

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Look There

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 2:49–50

Seek! Search! Look everywhere else. But you will never find Christ Jesus anywhere else but in the holy Scripture. The Spirit will reveal himself there.

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Freely Given Gifts

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 8:5–10

Take the Word of God "as it stands," as it is written, and be transformed by the Holy Spirit who works through that very Word in all his people.

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Proud of the Gospel

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 11:21–23

A Christian glories in the things of which other men are ashamed — in the cross and in his sufferings. For the world will not long endure the Word.

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Favor the Lowly

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Romans 12:14–16

As much as you are able, live in peace with all; spend time with those of humble circumstance. Be a blessing to your neighbor.

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The Marriage Will

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: John 2:1–2

Marriage, because it is God's institution, will be a difficult work, as the flesh will resist and rebel, as it always does against doing God's will.

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Love Your Neighbor

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Matthew 5:43–46

Love desires the best for its neighbor, even when one's neighbor does not desire the best for you, so one must pray for them even when they are not neighborly.

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Wheat and Weeds

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Matthew 13:26–30

Jesus allowed for believers and unbelievers alike in the church, so that both might be spared, believers from violent uprooting, and unbelievers an opportunity to believe.

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Many Functions

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Romans 12:3–5

Each Christian has been given a calling, and with that calling a particular gift or gifts to fulfill the calling. These do not make her better or happier than another.

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The Life Everlasting

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Scripture Text: John 14:1–4

"Are we there yet?" You have heard this childlike question many times. We too, should be like little children, eager to be at our eternal home with God.

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Failure

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:41–49

God permits us to fail in order to make us seek him in his Word. Do not despair when things do not go your way. God is calling you.

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Prophecy

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Romans 12:6–8

Paul does not put much emphasis on foretelling the future, but on the explanation of the Scriptures, so that there may be faith in the gospel.

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Forgiveness of Sins

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Scripture Text: 1 John 1:5–10

Do not run for the bushes. Do not deny. Confess! For we have been given a Savior and so, we believe in the forgiveness of sins.

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Content with the Gospel

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:50–52

May we be content with the gospel, with what is written, for it contains all that God wants us to know about himself, all that we need to know.

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Love Is Not Vengeful

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Proverbs 10:12

Love is virtue pure and precious. It neither utters, nor thinks any evil of its neighbor. It rather covers sin; not one sin, nor two, but a “multitude of sins.”

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The Holy Catholic Church

Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions

Scripture Text: Matthew 16:13–20

In the creed, we confess a catholic Church, meaning the entire communion of believers throughout time who hold to orthodox or correct doctrine.

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Worship for Christ's Sake

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:36–38

Our worship and good works are to be done for Christ's sake, not because we think that we earn salvation through our deeds or piety.

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Dealing with Trouble

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:41–45

Good and bad happens to bad and so-called good people alike. The difference is how one responds, and why, and from where their peace comes.

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Appearances

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:33–35

Simeon was not impressed by appearances and so, could bless Christ Jesus. If appearances are our motivation, we will not bless Jesus.

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Acceptable Sacrifice

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:2–5

Christians are priests, each and every one of them, and as priests, are to offer acceptable sacrifices to God. That sacrifice is self for the honor God.

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Faith in His Word

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:25–33

We must have faith in the Word, not in what our senses tell us. Feelings are secondary (at least) and are to be subordinated to "what is written."

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Bless

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Romans 12:14–21

Christians should not curse—in the sense of wishing evil in a person's life. However, Christians are to censure and reprove evil in the hope of good.

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Kept in Humble Faith

Scripture and a reading from Luther's sermons and devotional writings

Scripture Text: Luke 2:41–52

God allows suffering to guard against presumption, as example to others to repent, and as preparation for finding Christ, and keeping him.

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Living Sacrifice

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 12:1–2

The sacrifices of the Old Testament are fulfilled in the one sacrifice of Christ Jesus so that we may offering the living sacrifice of faith in everyday life.

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Indebted to Love

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 13:8

Having Christ's Spirit within us, we are to love our neighbors so fully through that it seems as though we are indebted to love our them.

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Evidence of Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Romans 13:8–10

Love of neighbor does not justify us to God. Faith in God does however, compel us to love our neighbor, and this is evidence of faith, and love of God.

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The Twofold Effect of the Gospel

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Isaiah 60:1

The light exposes the darkness of human reason, doctrine, and works, and displays our need of the grace and glory of he who is Light from Light, true God from true God.

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To Know Christ

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Matthew 2:1–6

The magi may not have known who the newborn king truly was, but you and I are called to attend to our vocations, then think only how we may know Christ.

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The Rising of the Light

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Isaiah 60:1–3

The gospel is not the light but the expression of that eternal Light that has risen upon us.

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Through Faith

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:23–29

This video was recorded in 2021, just as I was packing up my old study to move it to St. Paul's in Salisbury, NC.

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He Is Written

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Hebrews 1:1–5

Your beliefs, especially doctrine about Christ, must come from the Scriptures. Rest your faith on Christ as found in the Word alone.

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He Is Written

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Hebrews 1:1–5

Your beliefs, especially doctrine about Christ, must come from the Scriptures. Rest your faith on Christ as found in the Word alone.

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The Gift of God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ephesians 2:1-10

It does not lie in our power to be without sin or to escape from it. He who created us must take it away.

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The Gift of God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Ephesians 2:1-10

Just as little as it lies in one’s power to be born and to receive natural existence, so little does it lie in his power to be without sin or to escape from it. He who created us must take it away.

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The Mark of God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 2:15–21

We have received a mark, the sign of God's hand upon us. We are sealed with God's promise of salvation and eternal life through baptism and faith.

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The Mark of God

Reading the Word with Luther

Scripture Text: Luke 2:15–21

We have received a mark, the sign of God's hand upon us. We are sealed with God's promise of salvation and eternal life through baptism and faith.

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