A day of blessed teaching by Prof. David J. Engelsma.
- Luther-Theologian of the Glory of God
Luther was a theology professor, a teacher of pastors at a seminary in Wittenburg, Germany. His nailing of his 95 protesting theses on the cathedral door was part of his calling to defend the truth of the gospel of grace. He was just obeying his call and this gave him the right to protest (Just as Christ pointed to his lawful calling as a priest by John’s baptism when asked by what authority he cleansed the temple). Teaching that glorifies God and humbles man is invariably correct. Luther’s last words (written) were,”We are beggars, this is the truth.”
God is glorified in his salvation, in granting the means (faith) and in his sovereign predestination of all things.
Two of Luther’s most important works were, “Bondage of the will” and “The Babylonian captivity of the church.”
Sin is coming short of the glory of God hence is it not sin to attend a church that in it’s teaching and practice comes short of that glory by not adhering to the regulative principle of worship, maladministration of the sacraments and lacking good Reformed preaching?
2. Luther on James and Paul.
Anyone who believes in salvation by works and faith has no real faith! (JK). Such a person aligns himself with the doctrine man has a free will. The Federal Vision heresy teaches that salvation depends on the faith and the works of all baptized i.e. it is conditional.
Real faith excludes works-it states faith alone! Justification comes before any good works (JK).
Basics of Biblical interpretation:
1. No contradictions in Scripture.
2. Scripture explains scripture, the clear explain the unclear.
From Rom. 3:28, 4:5 and Gal.2:16 we see faith receives Christ and his righteousness leading to assurance. Paul’s teaching is that the legal declaration by God in heaven AND the subjective assurance in the believer are two sides of one coin (Rom.5:1).
James 2:14 ff are speaking about the public demonstration of one’s faith before others. “Show me thy faith!” (James 2:24)
Note that the final judgment will be on works that either demonstrated faith or unbelief. God’s record of people’s works will demonstrate to all whether they possessed salvation by faith (JK).
I John 2 teaches that good works in the life of a believer confirm assurance.