Monday, July 14, 2014

God's Word Does Its Work

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  (Isa 55:10-11)

To “believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy [Catholic] Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting” is to recognize and confess the power of the external Word.  It means that one engages the people of the world with this belief through the only way in which this belief is made possible—by preaching, teaching, proclaiming, confessing, and sharing the truth of the Word in their lives where they are and out of love for them.…

To preach and teach Christ crucified and risen is to pierce an empty and dead world with the resurrection and the life.  To proclaim Christ is to let his reconciling truth pervade what was once meaningless.  To speak the Word is to bring hope and purpose to lives filled with empty entertainment, disguised despair, and aimless drifting.  Sooner or later, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, and Scrubs will lose their ability to distract wondering minds and sustain wandering hearts.  But even with the TV blaring, the Word of Christ is still strong enough to speak through the empty and fading amusement.

When the church (pastors and royal priesthood) are unwavering in the proclaiming and teaching of His Word, the Lord is unwavering in His promises of grace.  And those promises are readily confessed in the third article of the Apostles’ Creed—the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Lucas Woodford, Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession?, 160-1

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