“So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given. He works faith, when and where it pleases God, in those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake. This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ’s sake.
Our churches condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that through their own preparations and works the Holy Spirit comes to them without the external Word.”
Anabaptists: Taught that the Holy Spirit comes without the Word but through their own devotion
Which relationship would you rather be a part of?
1) Your significant other tells you that she will remain with you as long as she feels like it. As long as you make her feel warm and tingly whenever your elbows brush, the love will remain. As long as you make sure that she feels happy around you more often than sad, she won’t go anywhere. As long as the first thing she feels when she sees you for the first time every day is what Hollywood would describe as true love, you can count on her. As long as she feels some ambiguous, indescribable feeling of love, she will love you. But if that feeling ever leaves, so will she. If that feeling ever starts to lose some of its luster, your relationship is in jeopardy.
2) Your significant other tells you that as long as you both live, neither of you will ever be alone. As long as there is breath in her body, she will love you. No matter how she feels on a given day she promises before God and anyone who will listen that she will never leave you. Love isn’t something that she has to feel, but a decision – a choice she willingly makes.
I haven’t conducted any official studies, but I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of people would say relationship #2 is the better option (unfortunately, real statistics – i.e. the divorce rate – do show that the majority of people apparently don’t do what it takes to make their relationship look like the second option. But that’s another blog for another day).
What does this have to do with Article 5 of the Augsburg Confession? Continue reading