Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dealing with an Inferiority Complex

I have met—and continue to meet—Christians who feel that they cannot partake of the Lord's Supper because of some weakness in their lives.  They place their inadequacy at the fore and condemn themselves as unworthy.  What these dear saints do not realize is that their desire for perfection will never come to pass, because they are looking to themselves.  The attention should be upon God who has made us worthy in Christ.

For Christians who are of weak faith, diffident, troubled, and heartily terrified because of the greatness and number of their sins, and think that in their great impurity they are not worthy of this precious treasure and the benefits of Christ, and who feel and lament their weakness of faith, and from their hearts desire that they may serve God with stronger, more joyful faith and pure obedience, they are the truly worthy guests for whom this highly venerable Sacrament has been especially instituted and appointed.  For Christ says:
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).
  • Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (Matt. 9:12).
  • God's power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
  • The One who is weak in faith, welcome him … for God has welcomed him (Romans 14:1, 3).
  • For whoever believes in the Son of God, be it with a strong or with a weak faith, has eternal life (John 3:15f).
Worthiness does not depend upon greatness or smallness, weakness or strength of faith, but upon the merit of Christ, which the distressed father of little faith (Mark 9:24) enjoyed as well as Abraham, Paul, and others who have a joyful and strong faith.

Formula of Concord, VII.69-71

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