Full Text for Confessions 2- Volume 32 - Why So Many Means of Grace? (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS LC2 32 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 800 825 5234 www.captionfirst.com *** 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. *** >> ERIC: I understand what you're saying. But why does God present his word in different forms? Why not simply through the scriptures and leave it at that? >> DR. KOLB: That's an excellent question, Eric. And Luther did have an answer. In a tract that he wrote actually about the time he was writing the catechisms, kind of instruction for the people to come to their priests or their pastors for absolution. Luther has a peasant who comes to the priest, receives the forgiveness of sins, and then says, "Okay, now I'm ready to go to the Lord's Supper." And the priest says, "I just gave you the forgiveness from sins. Why do you think you have to go to the Lord's Supper, too?" And Luther writes, "Ah, isn't it so wonderful that God gives us his grace in so many ways?" And so I think we see in the oral and written and sacramental forms of the word that God is meeting us as the complex and sophisticated creatures he has woven together out of our bodies and our minds and our hearts and our emotions and our thinking and our feeling. God just likes to bombard us with his message of forgiveness, life, and salvation. And it's important for us, as we think about these forms of the word, first of all, to note that they all come from the scripture, they are all to be tested by the scripture. That is the authority to the word of God, that the word he has inspired in the biblical writers. But it's also important for us to see that the word functions then, delivers the goods, we might say, truly the capital G goods, of the benefits of Christ and all the love of our God. God delivers that through the oral forms of his word in preaching and absolution and what we saw in the small called article says that the mutual conversation of Christians with one another, the mutual consolation of brothers and sisters building themselves up with the word of God. And it comes not only in the authoritative, inspired written word of the Bible. But it also then comes in our day and age in every other written form. And we might add in the 21st Century electronic forms as well. But then it comes in very special ways, as we'll read with Luther's text from the small catechism. It comes in very special ways in the sacramental forms where the word is combined with the external or physical element in order to give, we might say, to give the word not a special power but a special punch, a special way of assuring us that God is at work in our lives and that God is forgiving our sins.