Reading through the Book of Concord, October 13th

One of the goals of the Brothers of John the Steadfast is the creation of reading groups whose intention is to get with a Pastor and read through the Book of Concord. For those people who do not have access to a reading group, it occurred to us that we might try creating an “online reading group” right here on the BJS site. There is space here for discussions on the reading, and there are enough Pastors reading this site who may be able to help clarify unclear sections.

This online discussion will only work if enough people take the time to do the reading and come here to comment on what they are reading, so please make the commitment to try this, and come here to talk about it.

Pastors reading this — please take the time to reply to any questions brought up on this list, or even comment yourselves on what this section of the BOC means to you.

Each Sunday we will post the readings for the week, broken down into daily readings. Read through the passages yourselves, either using your copy of the Concordia or using the BookofConcord.org website.

For Oct 13th through Oct 17th we are in week 42 in 2008, so according to page xxxvii of the 2nd edition of Concordia, in the middle of the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, starting on page 530 in edition 2; page 560 in edition 1 of the Concordia; page 555 in Kolb, page 532 in Tappert.

Monday SD Article II paragraphs 57-64.

Tuesday SD Article II paragraphs 65-73.

Wednesday SD Article II paragraphs 74-83.

Thursday SD Article II paragraphs 84-90.

Friday SD Article III paragraphs 1-7.

Write any questions or comments on the readings for the week below. Please try to keep discussion limited to the readings for this week or topics that grow out of them. Remember, no question is a stupid question, and insights you see clearly may not be evident to others, so write about anything you want regarding these readings!

Norm Fisher, Technical Editor
Pastor Rossow, Editor

Links —

  • Last week’s reading
  • Week 39 (first) reading description
  • Daily readings on the Book of Concord site
  • About Norm Fisher

    Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

    He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

    He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

    More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

    Comments

    Reading through the Book of Concord, October 13th — 5 Comments

    1. I am not sure where to leave my reading comments. Do I post them here, or do I follow the link for a particular day and leave it there? Following the link for the daily reading however didn’t indicate an obvious place to make comment.

    2. JamesBob: Just go ahead and leave the comments here; we are experimenting with this and trying to find a solution that will work for whatever group elects to try reading the BOC “online”.

    3. Consider paragraph 60:

      “60 God does not force a person to become godly. (Those who always resist the Holy Spirit and persistently oppose the known truth are not converted, as Stephen says about the hardened Jewish people [Acts 7:51].) Yet God the Lord draws the person whom He wants to convert [John 6:44]. He draws him in such a way that his darkened understanding is turned into an enlightened one and his perverse will into an obedient one.”

      From the first line, “force” is not used to cause a person to become godly. Continuing, only the unconverted oppose the truth, so it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that they are converted and drawn to God. Hence one does not have the will to come to God on their own.

      But if person is drawn to the Lord, as one that the Lord wants to convert, by turning him into an obedient one, then does that person have the will to resist?

    4. Rev. Kusko,

      This is the way I understand it. Please correct me where I am wrong. We are always free to resist, but by the grace of God the miracle of faith in Jesus is created in us. Even though He turns us into an obedient one or creates a new heart in us, we still have our old sinful nature [the strife of the flesh and the spirit] with us this side of the grave. We are made obedient by conversion so that we may cooperate with the Holy Spirit in matters of sanctification, but our cooperation is in great weakness. That great weakness enables and causes us to resist much like we did before we were given a new heart, but of coarse Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness. Our old nature wants only to resist, but having been brought into the body of Christ He has already done the perfect cooperating for us and He has fully obeyed on our behalf. What a joy it is to be free to obey out of gratitude for what our Lord has done for us even though we are still weak.

    5. 66 Comment -“Working together with Him, then, we entreat you not to accept he grace of God in vain.” I have always had difficulty with the word “accept” in this line, even though I fully understand its meaning. Some might look at this word “accept” as if we are a wide receiver reaching out to grab the football thrown in our direction. Truly false! Rather we accept in the way a life term prisoner would gladly accept the free gift of a commuted sentence. We would “accept” the gift with gladness by way of the Holy Spirit. God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit before we can even respond favorably to anything He offers. Our acceptence becomes that of gratitute. My goal therefore is to be reminded by God daily that I, a poor worthless sinner, cannot possibly manage my life on my own, Once I am removed from the jail bars of eternal torment I need the Lord God Almighty to continually hold me, guild me, move me and shake me into doing His Good and perfect Will. How I wish that I could actually work together with Him on my own accord but to paraphrase Luther, ‘I am but a flea on the Oxen working to pull the cart’. May God continue to rule me and may He one day move me to be dedicated enough to even reach flea status.

      Now with that said, my prayer today is that District Presidents who hide the paperwork of CRM Pastors should read and be reminded that they are not the other horse (66) working together with the Holy Spirit. If they recognized themselves as flea’s they would not take it upon themselves to determine the fate of CRM pastors but, would instead send out their paperwork to calling congregations and allow God alone to guide the CRM pastor’s decision. I understand that some CRM pastors need to be strengthened by God before returning to serve but, there are many who are as readily capable as Joseph while he was in prison. Was it not God who gave Pharoah the dream that brought Joseph out of his prison? Was it not God who restored Joseph? A converted man does good as long as God rules him through the Holy Spirit. May we all continue to be ruled by God’s Will instead of our own pitiful understanding so that we might perpetually be in obedience to Him.

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