Martin Luther had a lot to say about a lot of things. The poor man even ate dinner with people sitting around taking notes every time he spoke. As a result of Luther saying so much for so long, Luther quotes can often be apocryphal in nature. When I hear one of these quotes, I like to say, “Well that certainly sounds like something Luther could have said, and maybe he should have said it, but he actually never did, as far as we know.”
National Lutheran Schools Week is always a great time to show appreciation not only for Lutheran schools but also for the teachers who make it such a wonderful place. All too often, however, the week sneaks up on us, and we’re left without time or ideas to show our teachers how much we care! Take about five minutes to read the five ideas below for ways to show our Lutheran teachers our love and support!
Lutherans teach that our Lord Jesus Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead” (Apostles’ Creed).
Lutherans teach that the whole life of the Christian is one of continual repentance, as Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
Lutherans teach that “private Absolution should be retained in the churches” (Augsburg Confession, XI 1), because Jesus commissioned His disciples to forgive sins: “If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you with- hold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld” (John 20:23). We do not coerce individuals to go to their pastor for Confession and Absolution, nor do we require complete enumeration of all sins. However, we do encourage people to go to their pastor for private absolution, because it is “the very voice of the Gospel” and “shows consciences sure and firm comfort” (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XI 2).
Lutherans also teach that no human being can earn or obtain forgiveness of sins or life with God by any human efforts or works. A person is not justified—made right—with God “by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16). “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22–24). Whoever “trusts Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).
Lutherans teach that, since Adam and Eve fell into sin (Genesis 3), all people are “brought forth in iniquity” and conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). This sin is a hereditary sickness that prevents us from fearing, loving, and trusting in God above all things, because “every intention of the thoughts of [humankind’s] heart [is] only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). This inborn sickness causes us to commit all kinds of evil deeds and merits only God’s eternal wrath.
Lutherans agree with the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) and teach that “the LORD is our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4), who has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Matthew 28:19; John 14:26; John 15:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14). All three persons are coequal in all things, and God shows that He “is love” (1 John 4:8) by creating all things, redeeming fallen human beings, and making us holy.