Bible verses about the Cross

The Cross

Isaiah 53:5: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Luke 23:33: They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

John 19:18: There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.

Matthew 27:37: When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

Matthew 27:54: Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Luke 23:47: Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

Matthew 27:37: And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Mark 15:25: It was the third hour when they crucified Him.

John 19:32,33: So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But when they came to Jesus and found he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

The importance of the Cross in our Lives

1 Corinthians 2:2: For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Titus 2:11,12: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

2 Corinthians 10:3: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

1 John 2:17: The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 Timothy 6:7,8: For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

James 4:4: You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Mark 16:15: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Bible verses about Holy Communion

Holy Communion, Holy Baptism, and God’s Word in the Bible are the intimate means God is with us in faith, grace, and love. Our faith in Jesus Christ is made stronger and more vibrant each day that we read and hear His Word, remember the promise of eternal salvation when He called us by name in our Baptism, and when we receive His forgiveness and grace in the bread and wine that He told us to do in remembering His presence in our lives and world.

Matthew 26:28 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

John 6:33 “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Luke 24:30 “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.”

Luke 22: 19-20 “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Matthew 26: 26-28 “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

John 6:48-51 “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

Acts 20:7 “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”

Bible verses about Hope

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Hope-1

Acts 20:35  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Hope-3

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Hope-2

John 15:7  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Hope-7

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” 

Hope-4

Bible verses about Prayer

Lent 2020

Focus on Prayer

Matthew 6:9-15
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” 

Prayer-8

Mark 11:25
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Prayer-4

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Prayer-2

Ephesians 1:18
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”

Prayer-7

Ephesians 6:18
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Prayer-1

Jeremiah 29:12
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

Prayer-3

Job 22:27
“You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.”

Prayer-6

1 John 5:14

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

Prayer-5
Matthew 26:41
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Prayer-9

Bible verses about Forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” 

Forgiveness-1

Luke 17:3-4

“So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Forgiveness-5

Ephesians 4:31-32
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Forgivenss-3

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Forgiveness-8

Acts 3:19

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

Forgiveness-6

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Forgiveness-7

Ephesians 1:7
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Forgiveness-2-Eph1-7

Hebrews 10:17

“Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

Forgiveness-4

Strategies for Life’s Most Challenging Struggles!

The 500th Anniversary of the New Testament in the Language of the People 1522 – 2022
The Bible in 3-D 

Our Victory Lap!
Strategies for Life’s Most Challenging Struggles

Romans 8:31-39:  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Martin Luther on Romans 8:

St. Paul comforts fighters of sinful desires. He tells us that Christ has given us his Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit makes us spiritual and restrains the flesh. The Holy Spirit assures us that we are God’s children no matter how furiously sin may rage within us, so long as we follow the Spirit and struggle against sin in order to kill it. Because nothing is so effective in deadening the flesh as the cross and suffering, Paul comforts us in our suffering. He says that the Spirit, love and all creatures will stand by us; the Spirit in us groans and all creatures long with us that we be freed from the flesh and from sin.
Luther made four points for us to think about.

First, “in this way [God] wants to make us conformed to the image of his dear Son, Christ, so that we may become like him here in suffering and there in that life to come in honor and glory.” So, we suffer in this life, so that we would be like our Lord Jesus who suffered in this life. Being like Him here in this life, we will be like Him in the life to come, with honor and glory.
Second, “even though God does not want to assault and torment us, the devil does, and he cannot abide the Word.” What does Luther mean ? He means that the devil wants us to suffer because of God’s Word, but God uses this suffering so that we may learn that the Word is greater than the devil: “Then our Lord God looks on for a while and puts us in a tight place, so that we may learn from our own experience that the small, weak, miserable Word is stronger than the devil and the gates of hell.”

Third, Luther says, “it is also highly necessary that we suffer not only that God may prove his honor, power, and strength against the devil, but also in order that when we are not in trouble and suffering this excellent treasure which we have may not merely make us sleepy and secure.” God gives suffering so that we wouldn’t get sleepy in this life, but always look to the treasure we have in Jesus and His eternal promises which will be ours forever—as Paul says, “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

Lastly, Luther says, “Christian suffering is nobler and precious above all other human suffering because, since Christ himself suffered, he also hallowed the suffering of all his Christians.” When Christians suffer, it is a suffering which Christ Himself has made holy for them.

In fact, Luther says, “when people without faith run into affliction and suffering, they have nothing to comfort them, for they do not have the mighty promises and the confidence in God which Christians have. Therefore, they cannot comfort themselves with the assurance that God will help them to bear the affliction, much less can they count on it that he will turn their affliction and suffering to good.”

There is a special component to sufferings for the Christian. Not only has Christ made their suffering holy, but there is also special hope. There is the hope that points to this work of God, this work which conforms us to the image of Jesus. This work points to God’s own words and promises to overcome the world and the evil one. This work draws us to eternal hope. There is hope in who this God is as the Almighty One who loves us and cares for us. He is the God who proved His love and sent His Son to suffer and die for us. If He has done this, will He not certainly in His love do what is best for us in all things? Yes, yes, it shall be so.

On a personal note, my wife and I selected this Bible verse for our wedding as a reminder that we would always remain connected to God and His love in the face of unknown challenges we might face together in this life.

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org  

Our Most Important Decision!

The 500th Anniversary of the New Testament in the Language of the People 1522 – 2022

Our Most Important Decision

In life we only have this choice: Accept God’s Grace or Reject God’s Grace!

Ephesians 2: 4-10:  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Saved by Grace

Martin Luther on grace

There are two kinds of Christian righteousness, just as man’s sin is of two kinds. The first is alien righteousness, that is the righteousness of another, instilled from without. This is the righteousness of Christ by which he justifies though faith, as it is written in I Corinthians. 1:30: “whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” In John 11:25-26, Christ himself states: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me…..shall never die.” Later he adds in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

This righteousness, then, is given to men in baptism and whenever they are truly repentant. Therefore, a man can with confidence boast in Christ and say: “Mine are Christ’s living, doing, and speaking, his suffering and dying, mine as much as if I had lived, done, spoken, suffered, and died as he did.” Just as a bridegroom possesses all that is his bride’s and she all that is his—for the two have all things in common because they are one flesh [Gen. 2:24]—so Christ and the church are one spirit [Ephesians 5:29-32]. Thus, the blessed God and Father of mercies has, according to Peter, granted to us very great and precious gifts in Christ [II Peter 1:4]. Paul writes in II Corinthians 1:3; “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

This inexpressible grace and blessing was long ago promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:3; “And in thy seed (that is in Christ) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” “To us,” it says, because he is entirely ours with all his benefits if we believe in him, as we read in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” Therefore, everything which Christ has is ours, graciously bestowed on us unworthy men out of God’s sheer mercy, although we have rather deserved wrath and condemnation, and hell also. Even Christ himself, therefore, who says he came to do the most sacred will of his Father [John 6:38], became obedient to him; and whatever he did, he did it for us and desired it to be ours, saying, “I am among you as one who serves” [Luke 22:27]. He also states, “This is my body, which is given for you” [Luke 22:19]. Isaiah 43:24 says, “You have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities.”

Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours. Therefore, the Apostle calls it “the righteousness of God” in Romans 1:17; For in the gospel “the righteousness of God is revealed…; as it is written, “The righteous shall live by his faith.” Finally, in the same epistle, chapter 3:28, such a faith is called “the righteousness of God”: “We hold that a man is justified by faith.” This is an infinite righteousness, and one that swallows up all sins in a moment, for it is impossible that sin should exist in Christ. On the contrary, he who trusts in Christ exists in Christ; he is one with Christ, having the same righteousness as he. It is therefore impossible that sin should remain in him. This righteousness is primary; it is the basis, the cause, the source of all our own actual righteousness. For this is the righteousness given in place of the original righteousness lost in Adam. It accomplishes the same as that original righteousness would have accomplished; rather, it accomplishes more.

It is in this sense that we are to understand the prayer in Psalm 30: “in thee, O Lord, do I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame; in thy righteousness deliver me!” It does not say “in my” but “in thy righteousness,” that is, in the righteousness of Christ my God which becomes ours through faith and by the grace and mercy of god. In many passages of the Psalter, faith is called “the work of the Lord,” “confession,” “power of God,” “mercy,” “truth,” “righteousness.” All these are names for faith in Christ, rather, for the righteousness which is in Christ. The Apostle therefore dares to say in Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” He further states in Ephesians 3:14-17: “I bow my knee before the Father . . . that . . . he may grant . . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”

Therefore, this alien righteousness, instilled in us without our works by grace alone—while the Father, to be sure, inwardly draws us to Christ—is set opposite original sin, likewise alien, which we acquire without our works by birth alone. Christ daily drives out the old Adam more and more in accordance with the extent to which faith and knowledge of Christ grow. For alien righteousness is not instilled all at once, but it begins, makes progress, and is finally perfected at the end through death.

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org 

Why are Brick and Mortar Churches Essential in a Digital World?

The 500th Anniversary of the New Testament in the Language of the People          1522 – 2022

The First Churches

Why are brick and mortar churches essential in a digital world?

Acts 2:41-47: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

From Martin Luther’s sermon on Acts 2: “It is not enough simply that Christ be preached; the Word must be believed. Therefore, God sends the Holy Spirit to impress the preaching upon the heart–to make it in here and live therein. Unquestionably, Christ accomplished all–took away our sins and overcame every obstacle, enabling us to become, through him, lord over all things. But the treasure lies in a heap; it is not everywhere distributed and applied. Before we can enjoy it, the Holy Spirit comes and communicates it to the heart, enabling us to believe and say, “I too, am one who shall have the blessing.” To everyone who hears is grace offered through the Gospel; to grace is he called, as Christ says (Matthew 11:28), “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.”

Now, with the belief that God has come to our rescue and given us this priceless blessing, inevitably the human heart must be filled with joy and with gratitude to God, and must exultingly cry: “Dear Father, since it is thy will to manifest toward me inexpressible love and fidelity, I will love thee sincerely, and willingly do what is pleasing to thee.”

The believing heart never sees God with jealous eye. It does not fear being cast into hell as it did before the Holy Spirit came, when it was conscious of no love, no goodness, no faithfulness, on God’s part, but only wrath and displeasure. But once let the Holy Spirit impress the heart with the fact of God’s good will and graciousness towards it, and the resulting joy and confidence will impel it to do and suffer for God’s sake whatever necessity demands.

Let us, then, learn to recognize the Holy Spirit–to know that his mission is to present to us the priceless Christ and all his blessings; to reveal them to us through the Gospel and apply them to the heart, making them ours. When our hearts are sensible of this work of the Spirit, naturally we are compelled to say: “If our works avail naught, and the Holy Spirit alone must accomplish our salvation, then why burden ourselves with works and laws?”

By the doctrine of the Spirit, all human works and laws are excluded, even the laws of Moses. The Holy Spirit’s instruction is superior to that of all books. The Spirit-taught individual understands the Scriptures better than does he who is occupied solely with the Law.

Hence, our only use for books is to strengthen our faith and to show others written testimony to the Spirit’s teaching. For we may not keep our faith to ourselves, but must let it shine out; and to establish it the Scriptures are necessary. Be careful, therefore, not to regard the Holy Spirit as a Law-maker, but as proclaiming to your heart the Gospel of Christ and setting you so free from the literal law that not a letter of it remains, except as a medium for preaching the Gospel.”

community

These Bible verses and excerpt from Martin Luther emphasize the importance and power of the church as a community of people who come together to read, pray, listen, serve, and share. We come to know Jesus through the struggles in our heart which leads us to believe in a very personal way. After the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave, the disciples lived in fear because the Jesus they had come to know and trust was no longer with them. But just as Jesus promised, He came to them on Pentecost in a powerful and visible way and they believed. The dimension of their belief after witnessing Christ’s Resurrection, the baptism of thousands of people from many different countries and cultures, and the breaking of bread is what changed the world! This is documented historical evidence.

They followed the teachings of the apostles, which is the Gospel that Jesus loves each of us and gave His life that we might be saved, be free from sin and death, and experience His grace through an intimate relationship with Him. This is the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of a loving church. Many churches involve passive listening but the church described above involves active engagement!

There are many good and uplifting philosophies that inspire us. They teach us to do good, show kindness, accept others, and help people in need. There are many who call themselves Christian and speak enthusiastically about God, Jesus, and the Spirit. Acts 2:44 tells us that the Christians in Jerusalem had one thing in common – they knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!

Faith is a long-distance journey, it is a calling and gift, it involves constant work because we stumble with the challenges of life in a sinful world.

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

Leipzig Debate – 500 Year Anniversary One of the world’s most important debates!

June 27 – July 16, 1519

LUTHER-Martin-ECK-Johann-Debate-1

The Leipzig Debate took place 500 years ago in June and July 1519. It was a public debate between three Wittenberg University professors – Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon and Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt on the affirmative against Johann Eck, who supported the status quo, the pope and Roman Catholic theology. The debate opened on June 27 in Pleissenburg Castle in the presence of George the Bearded, the Duke of Saxony who was critical of Martin Luther. Luther entered the debate on July 4, 1519.

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Although the debate judges from the University of Paris took two years to decide and the judges from the University of Erfurt never reached a decision, the debate was won by Johann Eck. It marks the defining moment for understanding the authority of the Holy Bible, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and God’s grace in our lives. Related arguments include the importance of the Nicene Creed, if faith is a matter of our free will or if we are called to faith by God through the Holy Spirit, and the authority of the church or a pope. Although Eck may have won the debate, Luther’s ideas have prevailed for the past 500 years! Years later, Eck admitted that he could have accepted many of Luther’s arguments, but not on the authority of the pope and the church.

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How will we remember this historic event which involves more than theology?

The Leipzig Debate marks one of the top ten most important events in World History and in the Christian Church. It is significant because it was clear to the people of Europe that the Holy Bible was the truth and divine Word of God. The Bible had authority over the Church, church councils, and the pope. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. While the Reformation resulted in the Ninety-five Theses; the public debate at Leipzig presented the truth and evidence behind these arguments.

Whether you consider your Christian faith as a private and personal matter between God and you or as faith that is evangelical and needs to be shared with others, the Leipzig Debate clearly stated that the good news of God’s grace is for all people and the love of Jesus Christ is the enduring legacy that has changed the world. The Leipzig Debate was a victory for the eternal values of redemption, forgiveness and love!

Map-Leipzig

Top Ten Events in World History (My Suggestions – you can create your own order)

Industrial Revolution

Renaissance

Life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ

Life of Mohammad

Reformation

9/11 Attack on America

World War 1 and II

Medical Science

French Revolution

Discovery of America

Top Ten Events in Christian Church (My suggestions – you can create your own order)

Conversion of Constantine/Edict of Milan

Nicene Creed

Conversion of St. Augustine

Jerome’s translation of the Bible to Latin

Erasmus’ publication of the New Testament to Greek

Gutenberg’s Printing Press

Reformation and Leipzig Debate

Dead Sea Scrolls

Split between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches

Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

In the year 1519

LETTER FROM LUTHER TO SPALATIN CONCERNING THE LEIPZIG DEBATE

Wittenberg, July 20, 1519

To the Illustrious Georg Spalatin, Court Chaplain and Librarian of His Highness the Elector of Saxony, His Friend in Christ.

Greetings! That our highness the prince and you all have returned safely pleases me, my dear Spalatin. May Christ claim the soul of Pfeffinger, Amen. I should have written you long ago about our famous debate, but I did not know where or about what. Certain people of Leipzig, neither sincere nor upright, are celebrating victory with Eck. It is from this nonsense that rumor has spread, but the truth of the matter will not bring everything to light.

Almost at the very moment of our arrival, even before we had gotten out of our wagon, the Inhibition of the bishop of Merseburg was affixed to the doors of the churches to the effect that the debate should not be held, together with that newly published explanation concerning this matter of indulgences. This Inhibition was disregarded and the person who had posted it was thrown into jail by the city council because he had acted without its knowledge.

Since our enemies got nowhere with this trick, they tried another. Having called Andreas Karlstadt to meet alone with them, they tried hard to get him to agree to hold the debate orally, according to Eck’s wishes, without stenographers taking down the proceedings in writing. Eck hoped that he might carry off the victory by his loud shouting and impressive delivery, means which he had long used to his advantage. Karlstadt, however, opposed this and insisted that they proceed according to a previous agreement, that is, that the statements of the disputants be written down by stenographers. Finally, to attain this, he was compelled to agree that the account of the debate made by the stenographers should not be published prior to a hearing by a court of judged.

At this point a new dispute arose over the choice of the judges. At length they compelled him also to consent to postpone coming to an agreement concerning the judges until after the debate had be concluded. Otherwise they did not wish to permit the debate. Thus they attacked us with the syllogistic horns of a dilemma, so that we should be confounded by both alternatives, whether we gave up the debate or placed the outcome into the hands of unfair judges. So you see how barbarous was their cunning, by means of which they robbed us of the freedom which had been agreed upon. For it is certain that the universities and the people will never make a pronouncement, or they would make one against us, and this is what they want.

The next day they called me to appear before them and proposed the same thing. Suspecting, however, the pope as the instigator of this procedure, I refused to accept these conditions, having been persuaded to do so by my colleagues. Then they proposed other universities as judges, without the pope. I requested that the freedom upon which we had agreed be respected. When they were unwilling to do this, I became reluctant and repudiated the debate. Then the rumor spread that I did not want to risk participating in the debate and, what is particularly unfair, that I wished to have no judges. All these accusations were hatefully and malignantly hurled at me and were interpreted in such a way that now they were turning even our best friends against us; and already permanent disgrace to our university was in prospect. After this, upon the advice of friends, I went to them and indignantly accepted their conditions. I did this in such a way and with the exclusion of the Roman Curia so that my power of appeal would be safeguarded and my case would be not prejudged.

Eck and Karlstadt at first debated for seven days over the freedom of the will. With God’s help Karlstadt advanced his arguments and explanations excellently and in great abundance from books which he had brought with him. Then when Karlstadt had also been given the opportunity of rebuttal, Eck refused to debate unless the books were left at home. Andreas [Karlstadt] had used the books to demonstrate to Eck’s face that he had correctly quoted the words of Scripture and the church fathers that he had not done violence to them as Eck was now shown to have done. This marked the beginning of another uproar until at length it was decided to Eck’s advantage that the books should be left at home. But who was not aware of the fact that if the debate were concerned with the cause of truth, it would be advisable to have all possible books at hand? Never did hatred and ambition show themselves more impudently than here.

Finally this deceitful man conceded everything that Karlstadt had asserted, although he had vehemently attacked it, and agreed with him in everything, boasting that he had led Karlstadt to his own way of thinking. He accordingly rejected Scotus and the Scotuistis and Capreolus and the Thomists, as saying that all other scholastic had thought and taught the same as he. So Scotus and Capreolus toppled to the ground, together with their respective schools, the two celebrated divisions of scholasticism.

The next week Eck debated with me, at first very acrimoniously, concerning the primacy of the pope. His proof rested on the words “You are Peter…” [Matt. 16:18] and “Feed my sheep…follow me” [John 21:17, 22], and “strengthen your brethren” [Luke 22:32], adding to these passages many quotations from the church fathers. What I answered you will soon see. Then, coming to the last point, he rested his case entirely on the Council of Constance which had condemned Huss’s article alleging that papal authority derived from the emperor instead of from God. Then Eck stamped about with much ado as though he were in an arena, holding up the Bohemians before me and publically accusing me of the heresy and support of the Bohemian heretics, for he is a sophist, no less impudent than rash. These accusations tickled the Leipzig audience more than the debate itself.

In rebuttal I brought up the Greek Christians during the past thousand years, and also the ancient church fathers, who had not been under the authority of the Roman pontiff, although I did not deny the primacy of honor due the pope. Finally we also debated the authority of a council. I publically acknowledged that some articles had been wrongly condemned [by the Council of Constance], articles which had been taught in plain and clear words by Paul, Augustine, and even Christ himself. At this point the adder swelled up, exaggerated my crime, and nearly went insane in his adulation of the Leipzig audience. Then I proved by words of the council itself that not all the articles which it condemned were actually heretical and erroneous. So Eck’s proofs had accomplished nothing. There the matter rested.

The third week Eck and I debated penance, purgatory, indulgences, and the power of a priest to grant absolution, for Eck did not like to debate with Karlstadt and asked me to debate alone with him. The debate over indulgences fell completely flat, for Eck agreed with me in nearly all respects and his former defense of indulgences came to appear like mockery and derision, whereas I had hoped that this would be the main topic of the debate. He finally acknowledged his position in public sermons so that even the common people could see that he was not concerned with indulgences. He also is supposed to have said that if I had not questioned the power of the pope, he would readily have agreed with me in all matters. Then he said to Karlstadt, “If I could agree with Martin in as many points as I do with you, I could be his friend.” He is such a fickle and deceitful person that he is ready to do anything. Whereas he conceded to Karlstadt that all the scholastics agreed in their teaching, in debating with me he rejected Gregory of Rimini as one who alone supported my opinion against all other scholastics. Thus he does not seem to consider it wrong to affirm and deny the same thing at different times. The people of Leipzig do not see this, so great is their stupidity. Much more fantastic was the following: He conceded one thing in the disputation hall but taught the people the opposite in church. When confronted by Karlstadt with the reason for his changeableness, the man answered without blinking an eye that it was not necessary to teach the people that which was debatable.

When I had concluded my part of the disputation, Eck debated once more with Karlstadt on new topics during the last three days, again making concessions in all points, agreeing that it is sin to do that which is in one, that free will without grace can do nothing but sin, that there is sin in every good work, and that it is grace itself which enables man to do what is in him in preparing for the reception of grace. All these things the scholastics deny. Therefore virtually nothing was treated in the manner which it deserved except my thirteenth thesis. Meanwhile Eck is pleased with himself, celebrates his victory, and rules the roost; but he will do so only until we have published our side of the debate. Because the debate turned out badly, I shall republish my Explanations Concerning the Value of Indulgences.

The citizens of Leipzig neither greeted nor called on us but treated us as though we were their bitterest enemies. Eck, however, they followed around town, clung to, banqueted, entertained, and finally presented with a robe and added a chamois-hair grown. They also rode horseback with him. In short, they did whatever they could to insult us. Furthermore they persuaded Caesar Pflug [the official host] and the prince [Duke George] that this pleased all concerned. One thing they did for us; they honored us, according to custom, with a drink of wine, which it would not have been safe for them to overlook. Those who were well disposed towards us, on the other hand, came to us in secret. Yet Dr. Auerbach, a very fair and just man, and Pistorious the younger, professor in ordinary, invited us. Even Duke George invited the three of us together on one occasion.

The most illustrious prince also called me to visit him alone and talked with me at length about my writings, especially my exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. He stated that the Bohemians were greatly encouraged by me and also that with my Lord’s Prayer I had caused confusion among many conscientious people who complained that they would not be able to pray one Lord’s Prayer in four days if they were compelled to listen to me, and much of a similar nature. But I was not so dull that I could not distinguish between the pipe and the piper. I was grieved that such a wise and pious prince as open to the influence of others and followed their opinions, especially when I saw and experienced how like a prince he spoke when he spoke his own thoughts.

The most recent exhibition of hatred was this: When on the day of Peter and Paul [June 29] I was summoned by our lord rector, the duke of Pomerania, to preach a sermon before his grace in the chapel of the castle, the report of this quickly filled the city, and men and women gathered in such numbers that I was compelled to preach in the debating hall, where all our professors and hostile observers had been stationed by invitation. The Gospel for this day [Matt. 16:13-19] clearly embraces both subjects of the debate. I got little thanks from the people of Leipzig.

Then Eck, stirred up against me, preached four sermons in different churches, publicly twisting and cutting into pieces what I had said. The would-be theologians had urged him to do this. No further opportunity was given me to preach, however, no matter how many people requested it. I could be accused and incriminated but not cleared. This is the way my enemies also acted in the debate, so that Eck, even though he represented the negative, always had the last word, which I did not have an opportunity to refute.

Finally, when Caesar Pflug heard that I had preached (he had not been present), he said, “I wish that Dr. Martin had saved his sermon for Wittenberg.” In short, I have experienced hatred before, but never more shameless or more impudent.

So here you have the whole tragedy. Dr. Hohannes Plawnitzer will tell you the rest, for he himself was also present and helped not a little in preventing the debate from being a complete fiasco. Since Eck and the people of Leipzig sought their own glory and not the truth at the debate, it is no wonder that it began badly and ended worse. Whereas we had hoped for harmony between the people of Wittenberg and Leipzig, they acted so hatefully that I fear that it will seem that discord and dislike were actually born here. This is the fruit of human glory. I, who really restrain my impetuosity, am still not able to dispel all dislike of them, for I am flesh and their hatred was very shameless and their injustice was very malicious in a matter so sacred and divine.

Farewell and commend me to the most illustrious prince

Your Martin Luther

Wednesday, July 20, 1519.

I met the honorable Vicar Staupitz in Grimma

 

 

 

Hymn Parade – Here I am to Worship

The 500th Anniversary of the New Testament in the Language of the People 1522 – 2022

The Bible in 3-D

 Hymn – Here I am to Worship (Tim Hughes and Joel Engle, 2005)

 Why do we Worship?

John 4: 21-24 21Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa9oCBTe5Qk

Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness,
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You,
Hope of a life spent with You.

So here I am to worship;
Here I am to bow down;
Here I am to say that
You’re my God.
And You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days, oh, so highly exalted,
Glorious in heaven above,
Humbly You came
To the earth You created,
All for love’s sake became poor.

So here I am to worship;

Here I am to bow down;
Here I am to say that
You’re my God.
And You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

Here I am to worship;
Here I am to bow down;
Here I am to say that
You’re my God.
And You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

And I’ll never know
How much it cost
To see my sin
Upon that cross.

Refrain

“I’d been reading about the cross and thinking through Jesus’ amazing sacrifice,” Tim Hughes says he was reading about the cross and thinking of Jesus’ amazing sacrifice. of the lyrical theme.  “Sometimes when God meets with us we don’t quite know how to respond properly.  It’s often too much for us to take in.  Hopefully in a small way the chorus captures that: ‘Here I am to worship.  Here I am to bow down.  Here I am to say that you’re my God.  You’re altogether lovely, worthy, wonderful.'” 

“The main motivation behind the song was simply trying to capture a response to Jesus giving up his throne in Heaven to walk upon the earth and ultimately to die upon a cross,” he confirms.  “For me personally, it’s been very exciting and a real privilege to see how God has used the song.” https://www.crosswalk.com/church/worship/song-story-here-i-am-to-worship-1227531.html

Worship

Think of worship as a time when God speaks with us. Focus on Absolution (Forgiveness) instead of Confession, the meaning of God’s presence in the Creed, God speaking His Word through the Bible, God’s grace in Holy Communion, and God’s hug in the Benediction (“The Lord bless you and keep you.” The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.”) We worship the things we love. For some it is material things. For those of us who have faith, we love Jesus Christ! Worship is our response to God’s love and amazing grace.

Martin Luther explains the importance of worship:

“To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.”

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

“The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.”

“The worship of God….should be free at table, in private rooms, downstairs, upstairs, at home, abroad, in all places, by all peoples, at all times.”

Worship (2)

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org