What is a Lutheran Christian? (4 of 6)
Word of God = Jesus, the Son of God, second person of the Trinity
= Anything which brings Christ to us, namely
= The Bible is God’s Word as it records God speaking in the past and speaks Christ to us today
= Sacraments (Baptism, Holy Communion)
= Church, which is the Body of Christ in the world
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. (Jn 1:1)
Theology of The Cross = Jesus on the cross shows us that God’s power is revealed in weakness, not strength
= Seen without faith, Jesus’ death is humiliation
= Hidden and seen only by faith, Jesus’ death and resurrection conquers sin, death and the devil
= The theology of glory looks at temporary human success and triumph and calls it glory
= The theology of the cross looks at God’s forgiveness and new life in Jesus death and resurrection and calls it grace.
I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:1-2)
Priesthood of all believers = If all have sinned and need forgiveness, then everyone is equal before God
= Clergy no better than lay people before God
= Priests are those who talk to God for the people. Now we are all priests
= We do not need any mediator between us and God. Christ is the only mediator
= Christians have a vocation, a calling from God
= Every Christian is called to love God and neighbor at home, school, work and play
= Christian parents are bishops in their homes
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)
Two Kingdoms = We are saved by Christ alone. Human government is ultimately unable to save the world.
= Government has an appropriate role in protecting life and keeping order (see the Law)
= Church has the role of proclaiming salvation through Christ, administering the sacraments, and guiding people to live holy lives of love towards God and neighbor (see the Gospel)
= Christians live in both “kingdoms‟: we are called to be citizens and saints
= Lutheran Christians, then, serve in the military, as government officials, etc. as true callings.
= A Christian may disobey government only when government claims to be a way to salvation, prevents the preaching of the gospel, or commands actions contrary to the Ten Commandments
For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.
(1 Pet 2:13-14; also Acts 5:29)