Full Text for Lutheran Worship 2- Volume 55 - Confessional Principles for Christian Worship (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN WORSHIP 2 55.LW2 Captioning provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 ******** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ******** >> JOSHUA: I would like to follow up on David's question regarding the confessions. What principles for Christian worship can we draw from the confessions? >> DR. JAMES BRAUER: What we've just said about justification by grace through faith can be thought of in terms of generating -- insights generate certain principles by which we work. And we'll add some things in making these principles that will help us think through the questions of services, liturgies, choices, places. So I call these Lutheran principles regarding worship flowing out of the definition we make. Number one is this: The central principle around which Christian worship develops is justification by grace through faith. So it simply reiterates what we've already said. That is at the center, and everything flows from it. No. 2. God brings justification to a person through the means of grace. The power of the spirit when and where he wills. Now here we're reminded that we don't control it. It's like planting a seed, the biblical picture of the word being spread. Does the seed planter make it grow? Does the seed planter know which one will grow? No. This is the Holy Spirit�s work. So our task in ministry is to bring these means of grace to people, and God creates the fruit by means of these elements, word and sacraments. So God brings this justification. That's how he comes among us with these benefits of Christ, and now, Christ is with us. The third one is worship is faith. So here, I�m going back to my definition out of Apology 24, 27. Worship is faith. That is, the reception of this justification which God declares and gives to us as righteousness. Worship is that and the gifts that flow from it, the forgiveness of sins, life, salvation that God offers through the proclaimed word and means of grace. So we're reminding ourselves in one, two, and three here how this justification by grace through faith are central. Four. The power and authority are not ours. Transformed lives come through these means of grace. They come through the promise connected to the word. That's where the power is and from Christ's institution. So we don't claim that we make this work. We claim that God makes it work. Think of the Lord's Supper for example. The words of institution are used each time we celebrate the Lord's Supper because the supper is what it is because Christ said that's what it is, not my words, his. So this is reminding us that the power and authority is not ours, but God's. Five. The purpose of corporate worship, and now we're kind of going, now why do we do this. The purpose of corporate worship, the worship of the gathered assembly, is to offer God's justification and gifts through word and sacrament. This is why we come together. Now, many people today are somewhat confused. They're thinking let's have a party for God. Let's find some songs we really like to sing and let's show him how excited we can be. I'm sure God doesn't reject this, but what he has in mind for his ministry is serving a people who should be people of faith in the midst of their lives of troubles, temptations, and so forth, is to have the power of the Holy Spirit with them and to allow fruits of faith to serve God through the week. So the purpose of corporate worship, from God's viewpoint, is to continually bring this justification that's received in faith and the gifts of the word and sacrament that bring it to us and to see, even in the midst of that gathered assembly, the fruits of faith, namely, thankful hearts, praising, praying to God, even for our enemies. That's No. 5. Number 6. Now, the form of worship. We've touched on it before, but here we�ll express it as a kind of principle. The form of worship, namely, the rites, the ceremonies, the liturgies help to identify the external society of the church. You want to know where God's work is going on, then go look where the word is preached the way Christ gave it and is taught that way and where the sacraments are done the way that Christ instituted them. That's where the church is. That's where the Holy Spirit is at work. The form of worship also serves to teach the people what they need to know about Christ and the triune God. So there's not only that's where God is at work, but this is where they're being taught and what they need to know about Christ, as opposed to maybe some other things they want to know that wouldn't be as helpful to them. Thirdly, the form of worship, rights, ceremonies, and liturgies provide good order. God is a God of order, and this context for doing it will have reverence for God's word and for the sacraments. Because that is God among us acting. So it identifies the external society, it serves to teach, provides good order. That's the way the confessions talk about it. So those are principles we can use. Number 7. The acts of worship can be thought of in two categories. At seminary, we use Latin words here, sacramentum meaning the gift side, that which God gives us like sacrament. This is God's gift to us, sacramentum. And the other side is the response side, sacrificium, the sacrifice where the fruit flowing from a heart of faith. So you can look at a service and you say, this is primarily a thank you act. This is primarily a receiving from God act. And this is the way Lutherans can talk about liturgies. Now we come to the great nut to crack for the late twentieth century, culture. So here's an eighth one that addresses that. Cultural adaptation of worship a process that employs critical judgment about theology, liturgy, and culture in matters of *audi offera, a technical word. We'll come back to it is to make clear what got offers in Jesus Christ and to express the thankfulness of faith in ways that are suitable to the language and customs of the people. And Luther demonstrated it himself by giving us two forms of the mass, a Latin Mass like he inherited but fixed up and a German mess which was designed to fit the German people. So this last one is, unpacked, a little lighter but we have it as a principal that the purpose of worship being to deliver God's gifts to us which we're going to trust. And the response that we're going to give, which is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, that's the purpose of coming together, and whatever we do with culture is serving that purpose. It's not there as an event of culture to be sold, but it is there to serve the purposes of God. So they need to make clear Jesus Christ and express that faith. So those are our eight principles.