Concerning Monastic Vows – part 21

Scripture Text: Psalm 16:1–2

Where is your confidence, your trust? Is it your bank account or perhaps, your pension? Maybe it is the government, its promise to protect you while lowering taxes and providing new jobs.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 20

Scripture Text: Romans 11:5–6

What a joy it is to realize that God’s forgiveness and eternal life are gifts. Now, we all understand that one does not work for a gift; otherwise it is not a gift at all. Instead of a gift, it has become something we earned.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 20

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 4:3–4

Those who who do not believe in salvation for Christ’s sake, in other words, because of what God has done through his Son, are not only blind and witless, they have refused grace.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 18

Scripture Text: Philippians 3:12–16

I take a bit of exception to Melancthon’s verb choice—although I agree with him if I understand what he intended to say. I do not wish, however, to put my words in his mouth.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 17

Scripture Text: 1 Timothy 4:1–5

We easily see that Paul, himself of the pharisaic tradition, taught that Christians leave the faith when they devote themselves to legal requirements such as those under consideration.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 15

Scripture Text: Colossians 2:6–8

There are good religious traditions, and those that are no good at all. The good ones found and construct you in the faith. These traditions are learned in the pure Word of God.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 14

Scripture Text: Romans 14:1–12

Adiaphora are matters in which we should look for neither sin nor righteousness. They are non-essentials, things that have nothing to do with one’s standing before God. These non-essentials are typically traditions or customs.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 13

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 4:5–7

The “power belongs to God.” We are incapable of securing our own forgiveness and salvation. Imagine the person who looks in the mirror and declares, “I forgive you of your sins.”

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 11

Scripture Text: Galatians 5:2–4

Scripture is clear: those who try to justify their sin by their works have fallen from grace. We cannot balance the scales by placing good works against bad works. It is not a matter of weights and measures.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 10

Scripture Text: Galatians 6:1–2

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Paul then said, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 9

Scripture Text: Colossians 2:16–19

If our religion is one that earns forgiveness of sin and eternal life through religious devotion, services, and other good works, then we slander faith in Christ, just as the religious authorities in Jerusalem spurned Christ himself.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 7

Scripture Text: Exodus 20:2–3

What does God want? What does he want more than anything? What does God want from us “above all things”? He wants us. He wants our hearts, our trust, so that he may bless us.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 6

Scripture Text: Galatians 5:4–6

Instead of “circumcision,” one might as well say “vows” or any other legalism—the idea is the same. Neither vows nor a lack of vows counts for anything. Only faith matters.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 5

Scripture Text: 1 Peter 3:13–16

What a trial the Lutheran Reformers faced; we can hardly imagine such an issue in our modern culture. Back and forth the arguments went, first being written out, edited by peers, then written again and again until all could be in agreement with the document before sending it on to Rome.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 4

Scripture Text: Matthew 19:16–26

So-called evangelical perfection is the keeping of all God’s commands. Let us consider three points in this regard. First, being in a monastic order does not equal “evangelical perfection” any more than does membership in a particular denomination.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 3

Scripture Text: Matthew 15:7–9

It is an easy enough trap to fall into. One imagines he is being religious but his religion is based on human traditions. Anything can happen now—and will, as was evidenced by Christians being slaughtered at the hands of the Church.

Concerning Monastic Vows – part 1

Scripture Text: Romans 15:4–6

There are abuses in churches because there are people in churches. Sinners bring their problems and opinions with them and share them with everyone present. Of course, we should speak against certain abuses, using Scripture to reason with folks.

Concerning the Mass – part 81

Scripture Text: Colossians 3:12–17

It is a tightrope. We are taught to be patient and gentle, loving one another with humility and forgiveness. At the same time, we are to admonish one another from the Scripture.

Concerning the Mass – part 80

Scripture Text: Romans 3:21–26

The righteousness of faith is a most blessed, gracious gift of God. Through this righteousness, we honor him and possess a constant comfort against sin and death.

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