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What Luther Says

Salvation: Won For You On Good Friday, Delivered To You On Easter Sunday

I love it whenever I just happen to trip over phenomenal Lutheran preaching and teaching thanks to Social Media when I'm not even looking for it.

For example, yesterday, I found a video from Pastor Chris Hull that he did 4 years ago in what he called his "Tuesday With Luther" series that is perfect to share during this particular weekend and especially on the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

You'll remember that Pastor Chris Hull was one of the speakers at the BJS "When Heterodoxy Hits Home" Conference that we looked at. Well, this 6-minute video he did from 4 years ago is just as good if not better!

Salvation, The Lutheran Way

I absolutely loved that!

Specifically, I like the very important distinction he made when he pointed out that salvation was won for us on the cross, but salvation is delivered to us through Word and Sacrament ministry. This is how "saving faith" comes to us, my dear friends.

However, if you noticed, this video was titled "Salvation, The Lutheran Way" which prompts us to ask what is distinctly Lutheran about his teaching in this video.

Well, it's the Biblical truth that the Means of Grace matter when so many Christians today want to make them more "symbolic" than anything else. That is, there is a God-given purpose to the Means of Grace that He instituted as His free gifts to us.

Boy, how different (and comforting!) that is when compared to American Evangelical mindset that we need to always "run to the cross" all the time. Now, I get why so many Christians say something like that (heck, I used to say it all the time myself!), and it's not that it's entirely wrong per se...it's just not entirely right as Pastor Chris Hull just explained to us.

"We don't cling to ourselves and we don't strive to get to the cross! We don't devote ourselves in hopes of God revealing Himself more to us through our devotion, thinking that the more we devote ourselves to God, the more merciful and compassionate He will be upon us. ... Christ came to you in your baptism and marked you as His own. He continues to come in His Word and declare you forgiven of all your sin. He continues to come and to be present -- truly present under the bread and the wine -- that you may eat and drink His body and blood for forgiveness, and where there is forgiveness there is life and salvation. This is what it means to be Lutheran. To not run to the cross, to not run to our own works, to not run to our own meditation. When you have a troubled conscience, don't open up the Bible and act as if the more you read it the more God will love you. Come! Just come and receive the gifts! This is just being a good creature of God -- it's God giving and you receiving. That is the Christian life. God giving grace, mercy, giving His own Son, Christ Jesus, and you receiving Him in faith. And just go and love your neighbor! You don't need to dwell on what a 'good work' is, you don't need to dwell on 'how to love your neighbor,' just love them! You know how to love! It's sacrificing and caring for that person more than you do yourself, but we don't do it because we're sinful. That doesn't excuse us from doing it. Receive the good gifts from Christ Jesus for your forgiveness. Remember your baptism. Receive absolution. And just live the Christian life. How much simpler can it be?"

Please don't overlook this distinction between how salvation was won for us and how salvation is delivered to us, because it's a very important one.

Personally, I think that a proper understanding of this key Biblical truth helps to lay the proper foundation for everything else and all other doctrines from christology to ecclesiology to missiology.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, Christ has won salvation for you on the cross on Good Friday, but Christ has delivered and distributed His free gift of salvation to you on Easter Sunday, or on each and every day after Good Friday, or whenever you hear the preaching of the Gospel and receive the Holy Sacraments.

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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