“God is in the Balance”
Dear Members and Friends of our ELS:
This special edition of our synod’s Lutheran Sentinel is dedicated to commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. We rejoice that, by God’s grace and only by that grace, we today enjoy in our homes, in our congregations, in our synod, and in our larger worldwide fellowship so many spiritual blessings. One of those blessings has been Luther’s frequent use of expressive illustrations to convey doctrinal truths from God’s Word. Consider, for example, his memorable description of the inter-related teachings regarding the incarnation of our Lord and regarding the benefits of our Savior’s death at Calvary. We find it in his treatise, Concerning the
Councils of the Church (1539). The citation also is included in the Formula of Concord
We Christians must know that, unless God is in the balance and throws in weight as the counterbalance, we shall sink to the bottom with our scale. I mean that this way: If it is not true that God died for us, but only a man died, we are lost. But if God’s death and God dead lie in the opposite scale, then his side goes down and we go upward like a light and empty pan. But he could never have sat in the pan unless he had become a man like us, so that it could be said: God dead, God’s passion, God’s blood, God’s death. According to his nature God cannot die, but since God and man are united in one person, it is correct to talk about God’s death when that man dies who is one thing or one person with God.
May each of us sinners firmly know and believe that, through the death and resurrection of the God-Man, we have the certainty of the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of everlasting life!
The central teaching of sinners being justified fully by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ is what ignited and drove the engine of the Lutheran Reformation.
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President