Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This understanding of the gospel as power may be seen in [Romans] 11:28; 15:16, 19, in proclamation which brings about the inauguration of the eschatological order of salvation of the kaine diatheke [i.e., new covenant] (2 Cor 3:6ff.). In this covenant God himself intervenes in the world with power as Lord, Creator, and Judge. He does so by establishing the present Christian message without, however, merging into it. The Christ event both precedes the message and continues itself in the message, so that it is not the content of an idea or of one doctrine among others.
-- Ernst Kasemann, Commentary on Romans

[Editor's Note: I have omitted the references Kasemann makes to external literature and have added the bold font to accent my reason for posting this excerpt.]

Monday, December 13, 2010

"God's own," "set apart for God" - that is the basic meaning of the word "saint" in the Bible. A man becomes a saint not when he has attained moral perfection but when God's call has consecrated him for God's uses; moral excellence is the result of sainthood, not the condition for it.
-- Martin H. Franzmann, Romans: A Commentary

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jeremiah 7[:22*, 23*], “For in the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this command I gave them, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God. . . .’ ” How may we suppose that the Israelites received this sermon, which seems to conflict openly with Moses? Clearly God had given the Fathers commands about burnt offerings and sacrificial victims. But Jeremiah condemns an opinion about sacrifices that God had not delivered, namely, that these acts of worship pleased God ex opere operato. However, concerning faith he adds that God had commanded: “Obey my voice,” that is, “believe that I am your God and that I want to be recognized when I show mercy and help you, for I do not need your sacrifices. Believe that I want to be God, the one who justifies and saves, not because of works but because of my Word and promise. Truly and from the heart seek and expect help from me.
-- Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XXIV, para 28 from Robert Kolb et al., The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000), 263.