Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is a long quote, but a good one from the Lutheran Confessions that explains the Lutheran view on election:

Our election to eternal life is founded not on our godliness or virtue, but on Christ's merit alone and His Father's gracious will. He cannot deny Himself [2Timothey 2:13], because He is unchangeable in will and essence [Hebrews 6:17-18]. Therefore, when His children depart from obedience and stumble, He has called them to repentance again through the Word, and the Holy Spirit wants by the Word to be effective in them for conversion. When they turn to Him [Jeremiah 31:18-19] again in true repentance by a right faith, He will always show His old paternal heart to all who tremble at His Word and from their heart turn again to Him, as it is written:

If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? you have played the whore with many lovers; [yet return again to Me,] declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 3:1)

Furthermore, the declaration in John 6:44 is right and true, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained His Word and Sacraments for this purpose as ordinary means and instruments. It is not the will of the Father or of the Son that a person should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Spirit. However, He works according to His usual way. He works by the hearing of His holy divine Word, as with a net [Matthew 13:47-48], by which the elect are plucked from the devil's jaws. Every poor sinner should therefore attend to the Word, hear it attentively, and not doubt the Father's drawing. For the Holy Spirit will be with His Word in His power, and will work by it. That is the Father's drawing.

~Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord XI 75-77

I am so glad that God works through ordained means, and not just some undefined, floating-around-in-the-sky type of way. I am glad that salvation is not dependent on a person's morality, the strength of his faith, or any decision that he makes. It is a gift given through the Word of God. That is the comfort of election.

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