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What Luther Says

What is Salvation? What Is Sanctification? (Jesus Is The Answer To Both Questions)

I'm always on the look out for new Lutheran media that I can use to help myself to grow in the faith and that I can also share with all of you here.

Today, I came across a couple of lectures.

Dr. Thomas Winger, from Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, delivered the lecture, "What Is Salvation? Biblical Reflections On The Reformation" and "What Is Sanctification? Biblical Reflections On The Reformation" at the "Lutheran Golden Symposium" at Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary, Japan, on May 6th, 2017, celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

AUDIO: What Is Salvation? Biblical Reflections On The Reformation (Part 1) 
AUDIO: What Is Sanctification? Biblical Reflections On The Reformation (Part 2) 
NOTE: The present recordings (in English) come from a repeat of the lectures at the LCC East District Pastors' Conference on May 17th, 2017

Salvation and Sanctification -- two topics I often got confused before I was a Lutheran. That's why listening to these presentations are still so powerful for me.

You see, there was a time when I put my full faith and focus in Sanctification...my own sanctification that is. Not good. That sort of navel-gazing, of looking inward at at myself instead of outward and at Christ upon the cross for me, is what led me to despair as well as a completely distorted view of what it was to be a Christian.

In other words, I was putting more emphasis on Sanctification than I was on Salvation, and I never realized the error I was making either! At other times, I was all about Salvation, but never wanted to hear a thing about Sanctification! How ridiculous is that?

It's why I will keep taking every single opportunity I can to feed myself on studies like these two, and why I keep looking for opportunities to help others take a closer look at both doctrines and how they differ while also encouraging them to not throw out one at the expense of the other.

We live in a day-and-age when many Christians think that continuing to hear about Salvation is no longer something for them because they're already saved, or during a time when the Body of Christ insists on comparing themselves to each other and on measuring your faith by how much "crazy love" you have for Jesus and how "radical" you are in living your life for Christ.

So, that's why I think we would be wise to constantly remind ourselves of the key truths about Salvation and Sanctification so that we have a crystal clear understanding of what God's Word has to say about what they are and what they're not.

How might we easily and simply begin to think about such things?

In a Lutheran layman's terms, Jesus is your salvation and Jesus is your sanctification.

Always start and end there.

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 4 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 the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (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 not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the truth myself. 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 will 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!


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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