Order in the Church

For about the last year, I’ve used this space to walk through the Augsburg Confession article by article. The Augsburg Confession is the confession of our congregation. Our primary source of doctrine is, of course, the Holy Scriptures. But where disagreements arise, it is often necessary to have documents that clarify our position. The point… Read More ›

The Use of the Sacraments

In the Lutheran Church we consider two things to be Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. And they are great gifts to us. We treasure them because God promises to create faith, strengthen faith, and forgive sins through them. Many churches today teach that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are merely symbols. They might consider… Read More ›


Repentance is a way of life for Christians. Maybe we don’t want it to be this way, but it is. I would like to think that, after repentance, I’m just good, and I don’t need any more repentance. I would like to be able to say, “I turned my life around, Jesus forgave me, now… Read More ›


Confession is good for the soul. And Absolution is better. We carry our sins around like weights. Sometimes it even feels like our sins are going to pull our hearts down into our guts. Confessing our sins releases this weight, or at least it starts to. Perhaps you’ve experienced this. I hope you have. You… Read More ›

The Lord’s Supper

Our churches teach that the body and blood of Christ are truly present and distributed to those who eat the Lord’s Supper. They reject those who teach otherwise. (Augsburg Confession, “Article IX: Baptism”). The article on the Lord’s Supper is the shortest in the Augsburg Confession. By this time in the reformation, other reformers were… Read More ›


Concerning Baptism, our churches teach that Baptism is necessary for salvation and that God’s grace is offered through Baptism. They teach that children are to be baptized. Being offered to God through Baptism, they are received into God’s grace. (Augsburg Confession, “Article IX: Baptism”). There is much that can be said about Baptism. The Augsburg… Read More ›

The Church

Our churches teach that one holy Church is to remain forever. The Church is the congregation of saints in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered. For the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments…. Read More ›

New Obedience

Do Lutherans have a problem with good works? The chief article of our faith, justification, teaches that we are saved not by works, but only by God’s grace when we believe that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake: Our churches teach that people cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or… Read More ›

The Ministry

Last month I wrote about justification. The Augsburg Confession describes it this way: Our churches teach that people cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works. People are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven for… Read More ›


Let’s get right to the point. How are you with God? What’s your status before him? What does he think of you? Is he pleased with you? Are you guilty before him? Or is it somewhere in between? The chief article in the Augsburg Confession is the article on justification. How is it that sinful… Read More ›