The Sacraments: 'For You'

I've said it once and I'll keep saying it: For me, a proper Biblical understanding of the Sacraments (God's gifts or "Means of Grace" for you and for us) is what truly made all the difference in my life as a Christian.

Martin Luther was spot on when he wrote...



"If you want to be a Christian, if you want to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life, then come here [to the Sacrament]! There stands your God; He offers you His body and blood, broken and shed for you. If you want to despise God and neglect the forgiveness of sins, then stay away. So I do not compel you, but Christ pleads with you lovingly. If you despise this, then you see to it! 
We are saying what your God is offering to you. Accordingly, I beg you to hold to the Sacrament, for your sakes, not ours. There are now few boys and girls and women who come. I know that you are not holier than Peter. It really grieves me that you are so cold in your attitude toward it. If you will not do it for God's sake and my sake, then do it for the sake of your own necessity, which is exceedingly great, namely, your sins and death. 
There is the temptation of adultery, of fornication, avarice, hatred, pride, envy, of unbelief and despair, and you do not consider how you are ever going to get out of them, and you grow altogether cold in that ungodliness. But listen to what Christ says here [in the sacrament]: 'for you.'" 


This is most certainly true.


There's the Trinity ("In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit..."), there's two simple words ("for you"), and there's one glorious and profound reality with eternal implications inherent to the Sacraments.


Our dearest Lord Jesus offered His own blood for us writing us into his last will and testament. He brings us here to this place so that we might participate in that precious gift; that the blood which was shed would be received here by us as we gather around the altar which He has set. Only sinners need apply for the great antidote to death; the prescription of immortality served out here by His own hand. Into our emptiness, He pours the life-giving blood of His Supper. Over our wickedness he spreads the covering blood of his mercy. Upon the corpse-like corpus of our tongue he sets the corpus of His body because he has promised, "This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:50-51). See how earnestly God is begging! See how He will go to the wildest, most outlandish lengths to win us back to Himself. God would have all people to be saved, even you! He is begging; begging even you! 
-- Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray / Memorial Moments (September 20th, 2016)


Why would any Christian not want to take part in any of that, especially after they've learned the truth about the Sacraments?

In a Lutheran layman's terms, please prayerfully consider how the Lord pleads with us, that we might receive all the abundance of His kingdom, with its grace and gifts of mercy through the holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. 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 repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) 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!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, 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 they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I 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 footnotes 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 both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). 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 "Christian 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. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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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 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 sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction 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 mature spiritually (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!