Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sasse, The Church, and the Creative Word

As the Word founded the church - "I have given them Thy Word" - so the Word of Christ preserves the church. Not the most brilliant of human organizing, not the most splendid liturgy, not the wisest of men, not the most splendid church buildings preserve the church. It is done by the Word alone, by the plain Word of the Gospel as the saving message of the forgiveness of sins. "Fruitful ethics can be found also in Confucianism, a resplendent hierarchy also with the Dalai Lama, scientific theology also in the synagogue, a battle against alcohol also among the Turks, and a youth movement also in Moscow - forgiveness of sins alone with Jesus Christ." - Herman Sasse, We Confess the Church, pg 16

Sasse is a joy to read. Why? Because everything is Christ, everything is accomplished by Christ through the Word. Why is there a Church? The Word. The Word of the Gospel creates; God's Word does what it says.

Do we not realize that when God declares us forgiven -- we are? Do we not realize that when God declares us righteous in Christ... we become more and more like Christ, showing righteousness not because of our strength or efforts but because His Word declares it so?

The great heresy and error in the Church has ever been this - we do not trust the Word. We ignore what the Word says, and we do not believe that the Word does what it says. We substitute our own rules thinking they can replace the Word of God (or even improve thereupon - filling in the things God in His 'foolishness' left out); we substitute the plans of our minds thinking that we can create something where God has not.

Just saying, just thinking. Proclaim this truth - you are forgiven on account of Christ Jesus' death and resurrection. Here is life, here is salvation, here is the Church.

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