Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prepping for the Fall Pastors' Conference

I have the privilege of doing opening devotions on the morning of the 13th and the closing devotions before departure on the 14th at our Fall Pastors' Conference. The main speaker will be Dr. Maxwell, speaking to the ways in which the Early Church approached Evangelism in a unchristian world.

In the closing service, the reading is going to be 1 Peter 4:1-11. I had a page left in my devotional, and so I did what I normally do - I filled it with what I normally do in any bulletin - Words from Luther.

Here are the ones that will be used then:

Words From Luther
Absolute Loyalty to the Word
(From a sermon on 1 Peter 4) It is the duty both of preachers and of hearers first of all and above all things to see to it that they have clear and sure evidence that their doctrine is really the true Word of God, revealed from heaven to the holy, original fathers, the prophets and apostles, and confirmed and commanded to be taught by Christ Himself. For we should by no means ever let doctrine be manhandled according to the pleasure and fancy of the individual who adapts it to human reason and understanding. Nor should we let men toy with Scripture, juggle the Word of God, and make it submit to being explained, twisted, stretched, and revised to suit people or to achieve peace and union; for then there could be no secure or stable foundation upon which consciences might rely.

Without Forgiveness, No Social Life
(From another sermon on 1 Peter 4) The apostles gave such an admonition because they well knew and clearly saw that great weakness and frailty remain among Christians also in their external, social relations. They knew and saw that no one can live so discreetly in his daily associations with people – such purity is found in no home, even between husband and wife – as not at some time or other inadvertently to give offense to someone or move him to anger by his words, gestures, or actions. Just so in the human body one member frequently strikes another, or a person bites his own tongue or scratches himself under his eyes. Now he who in his social relations would be a saint so exacting and obstinate as neither to bear nor overlook any evil word or gesture or any frailty is unfit to be among people, knows nothing of Christian love, and can neither believe the article of the Creed concerning the forgiveness of sins nor practice it in his daily life.

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