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God Vs Religion – Lutheran

The Lutheran Church is the oldest Protestant Christian church, dating back to the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther. Lutherans are those Christians who choose to accept Martin Luther’s teachings. On October 31, 1517, Luther, a Catholic monk, wrote a 95 page theses as a challenge to the doctrine and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. When conflict arose to separate these believers from the Roman Catholic Church, they formed their own congregation, becoming “Lutherans.” Today, Lutherans still follow Luther’s theological teachings such as sola scriptura, which is using Scripture as the primary authority for faith and life, being justified by the grace of God alone, and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Luther’s many theological ideas have since been collected into the Book of Concord, which is still the authority of the Lutheran doctrine and practice. Because it stems off the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran worship has many elements similar to the Catholic style of worship. Lutheranism which resonated from Germany has become one of the largest Protestant denominations.

When And Who Founded The Church?

History of the Church:

According to Pathos.com, Lutheranism began in the early 16th century after one man, Martin Luther (1483-1546), saw some inconsistencies within the Roman Catholic Church and attempted to reform it. In 1505, Luther became a monk and joined the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt, Germany because he was afraid for his own salvation, and believed the monasteries were the safest places to be to avoid sin, and try to please God. The leader of his order, Johan von Staupitz, recognized Luther’s book smarts and trained him as a Biblical Scholar, and Theologian.

After his studies, Luther drew the conclusion that something was not right with the teachings of the Roman Catholic theology he came to know. Roman Catholic theology taught that the gift of eternal life was only given to those who are pure, that sin was an unforgivable act with God, which made Him angry, and those who were not pure were punished to hell unless they were sanctified by working off the offense, or on the path of sanctification. They believed if they had made good progress on the path to sanctification, but had not yet completed it, it could be burned away or purged, before facing God’s judgment, also known as purgatory.

Furthermore, they believed because humans, even if they have been very good, could never perform the works that merited the gift of eternal life, works had to be amplified by divine grace in order to receive sanctification. This divine grace consisted of sacraments, seven rituals required to complete in order to receive sanctification, baptism, confirmation, confession, the Lord’s Supper, marriage, ordination into the priesthood, and the last rites or extreme unction (anointing the sick).

After his studies, Luther became a professor at the University of Wittenberg, and while preparing a lecture on the Book of Romans, Luther had gotten an insight, “The original Greek of Romans 1:17 could mean “The one who is righteous will live by faith,” as the Catholic Church taught, but it could also mean “The one who is righteous by faith will live.” In other words, Luther believe that it is the gift of faith from God that makes one righteous. For Luther, who was frightened about his salvation, and never sure he was doing enough good, the idea that it was not up to him but up to God gave him some assurance.

Luther decided to leave the Roman Catholic church, which further caused a split within the church when a controversy arose over indulgences. Indulgences were legitimate parts of the sacrament of confession, confession has three parts: 1) Contrition (be repentant of your sin); 2) Absolution (Forgiveness of sins, in which the priest as the mediator distributes it), and 3) Works of satisfaction (acts needed to repay the offense caused by sin). These works vary depending on the nature of the offense, from a few prayers (“Hail Marys”) to fasting, to a pilgrimage (long journey in solitude to devote to Christ).

Another possible work of indulgences was paying money to the church. In 1517, Pope Leo X needed money to pay for renovations of St. Peter’s Basilica Church in Rome. He authorized Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz to sell special indulgences throughout northern Germany. The Archbishop also needed money because he had gained his position in part in exchange for a huge financial contribution to the pope, which he had made on credit. Johannes Tetzel, began selling them to Luther’s parishioners, separating indulgences from confession, and promising a quid pro quo: time off in purgatory for a financial contribution.

Many Catholics, including Luther, were horrified at this, fearing his parishioners would put their salvation at risk by accepting this deal. Luther gave his argument in the form of 95 page theses on the door of the Wittenberg castle church. And, he posted them in Latin, the language of the learned because his purpose was to instigate a theological debate on merits among experts. These were, however, quickly translated into German and Luther had raised trouble for the pope.

The pope sent a Church lawyer, John Eck, to debate Luther publicly in Leipzig in 1519. They did not agree on indulgences, and whether or not works were necessary for salvation. When Eck argued that in cases of disagreement the pope was the final arbiter, Luther disagreed, claiming his conscience would not allow him to place the authority of the pope over the authority of Scripture. As a result, Luther lost, was excommunicated in 1521, and condemned as a criminal by the Roman emperor. One could no longer follow Luther and be a Roman Catholic, the Protestant Reformation had begun, thus calling anyone who followed Luther, Lutherans.

What Does The Church Believe?

The following information about Lutheran beliefs is found on, LCMS.org. God created the world, good, out of nothing, and populated it with plants, animals, and humans who enjoyed earthly paradise, direct contact with God, and were originally immortal. Humans, out of pride, rebelled against God, and this sinful act separated them from God, corrupted human nature, subjected them to death, and marred the perfect creation.

Because the offense against God was infinite, but humans finite, there was nothing they could do to overcome the situation and out of love, God became incarnate through Jesus. This divine-human Jesus allowed himself to be put to death as a sacrifice that pays the price for human sin. Those who hear and believe in this act of love know that their sins are forgiven, and they enter again into a closer relationship with God, including direct contact and immortality, not in this world, but the next. This forgiveness is gracious, because it is freely given.

According to Luther, humans are simply not smart enough or good enough to do anything pleasing to God. Luther emphasized again and again that works could not save a person, but did expect that those who experienced salvation would be eager to glorify God by serving their neighbors.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

While much of this is true, salvation is by grace alone through our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not enough to believe, we must receive Him too in order to be saved. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10.

About Sin:

Humans, out of pride, rebelled against God, and this sinful act separated them from God, corrupted human nature, subjected them to death, and marred the perfect creation.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

While pride is definitely a factor of sin, Eve did not sin out of rebellion, she did not even know what sin was, Satan acted on rebellion. Eve sinned because she lacked the fear of God that both her and Adam should have had. Adam was responsible for her wellbeing, and it was not until he succumbed to her, and ate of the fruit himself that their eyes were open to seeing that they sinned against God.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” – Genesis 3:6-7.

The punishment for that one act of disobedience was death, and hell, for the soul that is not saved. Sin does separate us from God, and sting of sin is death, but salvation from that comes through Jesus Christ alone. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – I Corinthians 15:56-57.

About The Bible:

The Bible is the collection of the thoughts, even the very words that God gave to the authors of the Biblical books. The Bible is a gift God has given to His church. It is not a collection

of ancient fables and myths. The Bible is the sure and certain means that God the Holy Spirit uses to communicate God’s Word to us today.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

The Bible is the Word of God, created by those inspired by God to write theirs and others testimonies of their walk with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who are one. It is given to us for instruction on how we are to live in fellowship with God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – II Timothy 3:16-17.

About Jesus:

Jesus is true God and true man in one person. He is the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead for the salvation of all who trust in Him. Christ is not Jesus’s last name, but identifies Him as the Messiah (Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah), the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises that God saves His people.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

This is true for the most part. In Hebrew, Jesus means Saviour, Christ means anointed. Jesus came here in the flesh through man, and was anointed through His sinless death, burial, and resurrection to save all who believe in and receive Him as their Saviour. It is not enough to say that you believe in Jesus, you must also acknowledge that by His death, burial, and resurrection alone that He saved you from the sin punishment of death and hell. And accept Him as your Saviour. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:4,9-10.

About Salvation:

God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.

By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

This is the same answer as the above question. The Good News is the Gospel of Jesus, which is He death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus came here in the flesh through man, and was anointed through His sinless death, burial, and resurrection to save all who believe in and receive Him as their Saviour. It is not enough to say that you believe in Jesus, you must also acknowledge that by His death, burial, and resurrection alone that He saved you from the sin punishment of death and hell. And accept Him as your Saviour. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:4,9-10.

About The Trinity:

Triune God: The Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and co-eternal, one God.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Yes, God is all three, Father, Son, and Spirit, Jesus is also known as the Word. The trinity is also known as the Spirit, the water, and the blood. “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” – I John 5:6-8.

Almighty God is the Father is the Master Builder over all souls, Jesus is God’s Word in the flesh and the blood sacrifice that gives life to the souls of His believers, and the Holy Spirit is the one who teaches the believer how to live like the Son, and receive the showers of blessings that come from our obedience to all three. Without Jesus we have none of the persons of God in us, but with Him, we have one powerful God transforming us into the image of His Son. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – I John 5:9-13.

About Heaven And Hell:

The Scriptures teach that death is the separation of our eternal soul from our mortal bodies. Our bodies rest in the grave, awaiting the final day when soul and body shall be reunited. At the moment of death, our souls, and the souls of all those who die in faith, immediately are in the presence of Christ, and will enjoy His presence, peace and joy until the great day of the resurrection of all flesh.

For unbelievers, there is the “second death” (Rev. 20:14) in which their souls are immediately in the presence of Satan and immediately begin to suffer the torment of eternal punishment in hell, from which there is no possibility of escape. On the day of judgment, their bodies join their souls in hell. Those who trust in the redemption won by Christ our Lord pass from death to life.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Okay, this is all messed up. Physical death does separate our body from our soul, the souls of those who are saved will go up to heaven while the body remains in the earth, or wherever it was placed upon their death. The souls of those who are not saved go directly to hell, where Satan is not. The devil is no where near hell right now, he walks among the earth in some form, most likely impersonating those who proclaim Christ, this is known as the Antichrist.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” – I Corinthians 15:51-53.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” – I John 2:18-19.

At this point, the body is asleep awaiting the day that Jesus returns to the earth to judged. Yes, we will all be judged, but the saved will be judge for their works after they are saved, and will receive their reward accordingly. He will awaken (raise up) all His believers, and their souls will reunite with their flesh, and in fact, will receive new, glorified, and immortal bodies.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians 4:13-17.

Then comes the judgment saved, or lost, we will all be judged according to our works. The saved will be rewarded for what they have done after they are saved, the lost will be judged for all their sins, and will receive the second death, which is being cast into the lake of fire, and that is when Satan will be cast in also.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:11-15.

About Baptism:

Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word.1 What’s so special about a handful of simple water? Nothing, until God connects His Word to it! In Baptism, that is exactly what God is doing. He combines His life-creating and life-giving Word with the waters of Holy Baptism, and thereby we are born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:5)

In and through Baptism, God cleanses us from all of our sins, snatches us from the power of Satan, and gives us everlasting life. It is all God’s doing as He gives us His blessing. It is

His promise. In Baptism, our Triune God imparts to each of us personally the gifts the Lord Jesus Christ won for the world through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Water baptism does not remove sin, only Jesus Christ does that, and He did that with His blood. And infants and toddlers do not need to be baptized, they are exempt from sinners repentance until they are old enough to be accountable for their sin. The only way we are cleaned from sin is by confessing to Jesus that we are a sinner, that we believe in His sinless death, burial, and resurrection, and confess that we are only trusting in Him for our salvation. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” – Romans 10:9-12.

Water baptism is a profession of our faith in Christ, it does not save us nor is required in addition to our salvation. However, we do need a spiritual baptism. The second we believe in and receive Christ as our Saviour we are baptized in Him, redeemed forever. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” – Colossians 2:12-13.

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