- Sinners are declared righteous in the sight of God not by means of good works but only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
- We cannot earn salvation, even partly, by what we contribute or do; faith is the empty hand that receives the free gift of the forgiveness of sins.
- When one possesses the forgiveness of sins in Christ this is a full forgiveness of sins and brings with it the certainty of eternal life.
- Original sin is so thoroughly corrupting, as well as our actual sins, that we are spiritually dead on our own power; therefore, it is by the Holy Spirit’s power alone that we are brought to faith and kept in the faith.
- Baptism is the means whereby faith is worked in the heart of sinners, and it also empowers us for daily living the new life.
- When one confesses sin, the absolution of Christ is to be applied without the condition that the announcement of forgiveness only is effective through some prescribed act of penance.
- The Lord’s Supper is a meal of strengthening power, for in the body and blood of Christ, under bread and wine, is offered the forgiveness of sins.
- All of God’s Word is the truth and is to be upheld, for God has given it to us by inspiration through prophets, apostles and evangelists.
- The Law tells us what God demands of every person and it shows our sins, but the Gospel tells us of the Savior and shows his forgiveness and love for all people; these two teachings are to be properly distinguished.
- In thankfulness to God for the salvation we have through faith in Christ, we desire to go about our various vocations as a way to express Christ’s love to others and to give glory to God.
- While on this earth, we are both sinners and saints: sinners because sin clings to us until our death, yet saints because by faith we possess the holiness of Christ that guarantees us heaven.
- We live in two kingdoms now as we await the final and glorious kingdom of heaven: the kingdom of the world, as ruled by reason and seen in the realm of government; and the kingdom of grace whereby in his holy Christian church God rules the hearts of believers through the use of his Means of Grace (Word and Sacraments).
- Our prayers rise to God’s throne and are answered always for our good, not because of any merit in us, but only because of Jesus and for his name’s sake.
- We have the simple truths of God’s Word set forth in Luther’s Small Catechism, and this is a lasting heritage for our children and for the generations to come.
- We today are able to read the Scriptures in our own language, even as Luther put the Bible into the common language of the German people.
- We have tremendous hymns from Luther and other reformers that sing into our hearts the message of the holy Gospel.
- Confessional Lutheran congregations and pastors have been blessed to have, study, and uphold the teachings set forth in the Lutheran Confessions as a correct exposition of the doctrine set forth in God’s Word.
- The Lutheran liturgy reflects how Martin Luther retained the scriptural-based traditions in his German Mass and is a helpful tool both for regular weekly worship and for educational purposes.
- The Bible commentaries of Luther, (e.g., on Genesis, the Psalms, Galatians, etc.) are a tremendous treasure trove of Gospel sayings.
- Luther’s writings and his own personal family experiences teach believers to find strength always in God’s providence, as we by faith in the Savior journey to our eternal heavenly home.
Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice with exultation springing!
John A. Moldstad,