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Fifth Sunday in Lent (1889)

Fifth Sunday in Lent (1889)

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Published by David Juhl
John 8:46-59.
John 8:46-59.

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Published by: David Juhl on Apr 02, 2014
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Fifth Sunday in Lent (1889

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John 8:46-59 A. "Thou, ah! Thou, hast taken on Thee/Bonds and stripes, a cruel rod."1 This innocent and therefore vicarious suffering of Christ we find in today's Gospel. The righteous Son of God, in Whose mouth no deceit was devised, must, because He says the saving truth, let Himself be cursed for the unrighteous. But we want to select especially the first words of our Gospel for consideration. On the comforting content of Christ's question: "Which one of you can convict Me of sin?" 1. what is the content of this question? a. the Lord speaks not only about a sinlessness in the sight of men, b. but about the innocence and holiness of His whole being, α. sinless conception and birth; β. impossibility that sin could stain Him2; to prove this impossibility from the inseparable union of the two natures in Christ3; 2. why is it so comforting for us? a. our redemption is based on the possibility; the Righteous could suffer for the unrighteous, what and how He would suffer; "My innocence shall bear your sin."4 b. our redemption is based on the truthfulness; the Righteous died for us Godless and thus has "paid for what He had not stolen."5 "My innocence shall bear your sin."6 c. our redemption is based on the full validity. The Innocent has paid all debts. "And you are blest forever."78 We can and should now certainly be confident that our High Priest will keep His promise to us.9 G.R.

LSB 420:2. 1 John 3:5 et alia. 3 Cf. John 8:54-58 - Hebrews 7:26. 4 LSB 556:8. 5 Psalm 69:4. 6 Colossians 1:14 ("we have" etc.). 7 LSB 556:8. 8 Hebrews 10:12; 1 John 2:2. 9 John 8:51; KELG 249:8.
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B. It is a widespread view that life is the main thing and that not much depends on the pure doctrine. Luther was otherwise; he first attacked the false doctrine of the papacy; he lived, fought until his death for pure doctrine. He said, "Doctrine is heaven, life is earth". Our doctrinal position is the same. One is convinced that pure doctrine is the greatest possession of the Church, of a synod, of a congregation. It is none of our preachers who do not say Yes and Amen to Luther's words. Our synod has thus become a blessing for many. But in many congregation this knowledge is not alive. This shows in the fact that one often stumbles against the insistence on pure doctrine, on the chastisement of contradictors, that one is not filled with holy abhorrence of the entity of false believers, etc. It is necessary, first of all to talk about it, that doctrine is the highest treasure of a congregation. Today's Gospel gives us occasion for it, as Dr. Luther also touches on this point in his sermons. The highest treasure and jewel of a Christian congregation is that it has the clear and pure doctrine of the Divine Word, we recognize this 1. from the nature of pure doctrine, a. it is perfect, it is exactly the same doctrine that Christ had, it is otherwise pure; it is α. the truth10, it cannot be two-faced, yes and no11, β. God's12; one therefore does not need to be in doubt what it is, one may not add to it; life is indeed ours, but doctrine is God's and given to us for precise transmission and management.13 It is therefore the highest treasure and jewel because that which is perfect stands over the imperfect, and Christ Himself makes us attentive to it, in that He does not address in detail the rebuke of life14, but rather to His teaching office15; b. it makes alive, α. one comes to faith by it.16 It is not a matter of indifference whether one "exchanges the truth of God for a lie"17 and "believes the lie"18, holiness of a angel on a preacher would do no good with false doctrine in the congregation; β. one is

John 8:46. Galatians 3:1; 2 Peter 2:1-3. 12 John 8:47. 13 Jeremiah 23:31. 14 John 8:48 ("Samaritan"). 15 John 8:48-49 ("You have a devil"). See Luther, Erlangen Edition, Volume 11, page 138. 16 John 8:46. 17 Romans 1:25. 18 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
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saved from death by it19, the entire world with their best life cannot save a single soul from death, Christ's doctrine can save the entire world; c. it gives glory to God and Christ; the highest, after which all creatures have to strive. Doctrine has this nature for all times and for all mankind. Abraham has been saved by it20, we have it.21 Your kernel and star is Christ, Who is eternal22; 2. from the fact that proper living follows from pure doctrine; life is of the highest importance for a Christian congregation, and far be it that we neglect it through emphasizing pure doctrine, so we raise it up, etc.; a. from where came the godless conduct of the Jews? They do not have pure doctrine. "You do not know the Father".23 It did not help that they thought to do God service to salvage Abraham's honor and to chastise blasphemy of God; b. Christ says: "I do know Him and keep His Word"24, i.e., do His will; pure doctrine therefore indicates right works25, it works good works26 and by it godless life can be helped.27 Examples of how life is corrupted by false doctrine (synergism, chiliasm, etc.). This truth should move us to keep pure doctrine as our highest treasure and to learn to know it ever better, and to let nothing distract us from it, not by the inscrutability of divine doctrine for our reason28, not by ridicule, persecution and danger of death29, not by loss of church ownership.30 Theodor Brohm

John 8:51. John 8:56. 21 1 Peter 1:25. 22 John 8:58; 1 Corinthians 2:2. 23 John 8:55. 24 John 8:55. 25 Psalm 143:10. 26 Titus 3:8; 2 Peter 1:3. 27 Proverbs 29:18. 28 John 8:57. 29 John 8:59a. 30 John 8:59b.
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