The sickness behind denominational divisions and its tough cure: 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation

Critics regard the Reformation as a failure, pointing to the many denominations that sprung up in the 500 years since Martin Luther called for reform in 1517. The confessional Lutheran church is not in Christian fellowship with the vast majority of nominal Lutherans. The Reformed church splintered into innumerable Presbyterian, Baptist, and nondenominational sects. What went wrong?

The problem is not new. By 1530 Lutherans found it necessary to officially distance themselves from the Reformed and Anabaptist teachings they were accused of. Did you know Dr. Martin Luther had already not only diagnosed the disease but also prescribed its cure?

Here is the reason for the church’s fragmentation at the time of the Reformation. Recently some have considered it the result of a necessary “historical development” that there is a Reformed church with its army of sects in addition to the Lutheran church. . . . So common is this view of the formation of the Reformed church, so absurd and foolish it is. The reason for a Reformed church in addition to the Lutheran church comes simply from this: the former makes reason into the principle of theology in a number of doctrines, and thus actually ignores the fear of God’s Word, in spite of their assurance that they deeply revere it. Luther proved this origin of the Reformed sects again and again and showed their leaders how they were “thoughtless despisers of Scripture.” To be sure, the enthusiasts maintained that they had God’s honor in mind when they did not take hold of the words in the Lord’s Supper as they actually are. For if someone accepted that Christ’s body and blood actually and essentially were in the Lord’s Supper, then he would have to believe contradictory things, namely, that Christ’s body and blood are in heaven and earth at the same time, and indeed in many places on earth at the same time. But Luther was not deceived by this. Rather, he showed the enthusiasts again directly from this contradiction that they were lacking the fear of God’s Word, in that they wanted to determine according to the thoughts of their reason, instead of according to God’s Word, what a contradiction in divine matters was. Therefore, when they also discussed at Marburg how they could end the conflict between the Lutherans and the Zwinglians, Luther said, “I know no other way, than that they (Zwingli and his associates) give God’s Word the honor and believe with us.” (Francis Pieper, excerpt from “The Fear of God’s Word,” trans. Andrew Hussman, Studium Excitare: The Journal of Confessional Language Studies at MLC)

What? “Give God’s word the honor and believe with” confessional Lutherans? That would even include believing the words “This is my body” exactly as Jesus spoke them! That’s saying the source of the disagreement is human unbelief, not the fact that Scripture is hard to understand. No, standing on Scripture alone is too simplistic.

Yes, we need Scripture, but we also need a healthy dose of common sense. If you think about it, it’s okay to have lots of denominations because their petty little differences about abstract things like grace and faith really don’t really matter anyway. That’s why open communion was invented.

But common sense isn’t quite enough, either. We also need the writings of respected Christian leaders to shed light on the darkness of the Scriptures. From John Calvin on, Protestant scholars have learned a lot since Luther’s time. Granted, each sect has its own revered leaders, but that’s not the point. Let’s learn what we can from the best of them and not sweat the details.

The point is this. Luther’s simple faith in Scripture alone was a good place to start in 1517. It’s not a good place to stand in 2017.

Or is it? Could it be that our own wisdom and traditions have blinded us to the light of God’s word? If so, let’s indeed “give God’s word the honor” and pray with the Psalmist, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. . . . The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:105,130).

On this 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, let’s turn from the unbelief of Zechariah. Along with the most highly favored maiden, may we simply believe the word that the Lord has spoken.

Reformation devotions, December 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 8 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in December

December

1

Acts 1:1-11 1:12-26

December

2

Acts 2:1-13 2:14-47

December

3

Acts 3:1-10 3:11-26

December

4

Acts 4:1-12 4:13-37

December

5

Acts 5:1-16 5:17-42

December

6

Acts 6:1-15 7:1-53

December

7

Acts 7:54-60 8:1-24

December

8

Acts 8:25-40 9:1-19

December

9

Acts 9:20-42 10:1-23

December

10

Acts 10:24-48 11:1-18

December

11

Acts 11:19-29 12:1-19

December

12

Acts 12:20-25 13:1-43

December

13

Acts 13:44-52 14:1-28

December

14

Acts 15:1-12 15:13-35

December

15

Acts 16:1-13 16:14-40

December

16

Acts 17:1-15 17:16-34

December

17

Acts 18:1-17 18:18-28

December

18

Acts 19:1-10 19:11-41

December

19

Acts 20:1-16 20:17-38

December

20

Acts 21:1-14 21:15-40

December

21

Acts 22:1-21 22:22-30

December

22

Acts 23:1-11 23:12-35

December

23

Acts 24:1-9 24:10-27

December

24

Acts 25:1-12 25:13-27

December

25

Acts 26:1-23 26:24-32

December

26

Acts 27:1-13 27:14-44

December

27

Acts 28:1-10 28:11-31

December

28

Psalm 103 4

December

29

Psalm 130 8

December

30

Psalm 4 91

December

31

Psalm 7 104

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, November 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 7 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in November

November

1

Luke 1:1-25 1:26-56

November

2

Luke 1:57-66 1:67-80

November

3

Luke 2:1-20 2:21-52

November

4

Luke 3:1-20 3:21-38

November

5

Luke 4:1-13 4:14-44

November

6

Luke 5:1-11 5:12-39

November

7

Luke 6:1-19 6:20-49

November

8

Luke 7:1-17 7:18-50

November

9

Luke 8:1-25 8:26-56

November

10

Luke 9:1-27 9:28-62

November

11

Luke 10:1-16 10:17-42

November

12

Luke 11:1-28 11:29-54

November

13

Luke 12:1-12 12:13-59

November

14

Luke 13:1-17 13:18-35

November

15

Luke 14:1-15 14:16-35

November

16

Luke 15:1-10 15:11-32

November

17

Luke 16:1-18 16:19-31

November

18

Luke 17:1-20 17:21-37

November

19

Luke 18:1-17 18:18-43

November

20

Luke 19:1-27 19:28-48

November

21

Luke 20:1-19 20:20-47

November

22

Luke 21:1-9 21:10-38

November

23

Luke 22:1-23 22:24-53

November

24

Luke 22:54-71 23:1-12

November

25

Psalm 23:13-32 23:33-56

November

26

Psalm 24:1-12 24:13-53

November

27

Psalm 19 127

November

28

Psalm 104 134

November

29

Psalm 121 139

November

30

Psalm 90 121

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, October 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 6 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in October

Month Day Book Morning Evening

October

1

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 1:12-23

October

2

2:1-11 2:12-17

October

3

3:1-11 3:12-18

October

4

4:1-6 4:7-17

October

5

5:1-10 5:11-21

October

6

6:1-10 6:11-18

October

7

7:1-4 7:5-16

October

8

8:1-15 8:16-24

October

9

9:1-5 9:6-15

October

10

10:1-7 10:8-18

October

11

11:1-15 11:16-33

October

12

12:1-6 12:7-21

October

13

13:1-10 13:11-14

October

14

Galatians 1:1-10 1:11-24

October

15

2:1-10 2:11-21

October

16

3:1-14 3:15-29

October

17

4:1-20 4:21-31

October

18

5:1-12 5:13-26

October

19

6:1-10 6:11-18

October

20

Ephesians 1:1-14 1:15-23

October

21

2:1-10 2:11-22

October

22

3:1-13 3:14-21

October

23

4:1-16 4:17-32

October

24

5:1-21 5:22-33

October

25

6:1-9 6:10-24

October

26

Philippians 1:1-11 1:12-30

October

27

2:1-18 2:19-30

October

28

3:1-16 3:17-21

October

29

4:1-9 4:10-23

October

30

Psalm 4 91

October

31

7 104

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, September 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 5 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in September

Month Day Book Morning Evening

September

1

Mark 1:1-12 1:13-28

September

2

Mark 1:29-45 2:1-13

September

3

Mark 2:14-27 3:1-12

September

4

Mark 3:13-35 4:1-25

September

5

Mark 4:26-41 5:1-20

September

6

Mark 5:21-43 6:1-13

September

7

Mark 6:14-32 6:33-56

September

8

Mark 7:1-13 7:14-37

September

9

Mark 8:1-26 8:27-38

September

10

Mark 9:1-13 9:14-29

September

11

Mark 9:30-50 10:1-16

September

12

Mark 10:17-52 11:1-14

September

13

Mark 11:15-33 12:1-12

September

14

Mark 12:13-27 12:28-44

September

15

Mark 13:1-23 13:24-37

September

16

Mark 14:1-11 14:12-42

September

17

Mark 14:43-72 15:1-15

September

18

Mark 15:16-21 15:22-47

September

19

Mark 16:1-8 16:9-20

September

20

Psalm 104 134

September

21

Psalm 121 139

September

22

Psalm 90 121

September

23

1 Peter 1:1-12 1:13-25

September

24

1 Peter 2:1-12 2:13-25

September

25

1 Peter 3:1-7 3:8-22

September

26

1 Peter 4:1-11 4:12-19

September

27

1 Peter 5:1-5 5:6-14

September

28

Psalm 63 3

September

29

Psalm 103 4

September

30

Psalm 130 8

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, August 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 4 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in August

Month Day Book Morning Evening

August

1

Romans 1:1-17 1:18-32

August

2

Romans 2:1-16 2:17-29

August

3

Romans 3:1-18 3:19-31

August

4

Romans 4:1-12 4:13-25

August

5

Romans 5:1-11 5:12-21

August

6

Romans 6:1-11 6:12-23

August

7

Romans 7:1-12 7:13-25

August

8

Romans 8:1-16 8:17-39

August

9

Romans 9:1-13 9:14-33

August

10

Romans 10:1-13 10:14-21

August

11

Romans 11:1-16 11:17-36

August

12

Romans 12:1-8 12:9-21

August

13

Romans 13:1-14 14:1-12

August

14

Romans 14:13-23 15:1-25

August

15

Romans 15:26-33 16:1-24

August

16

1 Corinthians 1:1-17 1:18-31

August

17

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 2:6-16

August

18

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 3:10-23

August

19

1 Corinthians 4:1-7 4:8-21

August

20

1 Corinthians 5:1-13 6:1-8

August

21

1 Corinthians 6:9-20 7:1-20

August

22

1 Corinthians 7:21-40 8:1-13

August

23

1 Corinthians 9:1-14 9:15-27

August

24

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 10:14-32

August

25

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 11:17-34

August

26

1 Corinthians 12:1-13 12:14-31

August

27

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 14:1-19

August

28

1 Corinthians 14:20-40 15:1-11

August

29

1 Corinthians 15:12-28 15:29-49

August

30

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 16:1-24

August

31

Psalm 19 127

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, July 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 3 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or a passage from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in July

Month Day Book Morning Evening

July

1

Matthew 1:1-16 1:17-25

July

2

Matthew 2:1-12 2:13-23

July

3

Matthew 3:1-12 3:13-17

July

4

Matthew 4:1-16 4:17-25

July

5

Matthew 5:1-20 5:21-48

July

6

Matthew 6:1-18 6:19-34

July

7

Matthew 7:1-14 7:15-29

July

8

Matthew 8:1-17 8:18-34

July

9

Matthew 9:1–17 9:18-38

July

10

Matthew 10:1-15 10:16-42

July

11

Matthew 11:1-19 11:20-30

July

12

Matthew 12:1-21 12:22-50

July

13

Matthew 13:1-23 13:24-58

July

14

Matthew 14:1-12 14:13-36

July

15

Matthew 15:1-20 15:21-39

July

16

Matthew 16:1-12 16:13-28

July

17

Matthew 17:1-13 17:14-27

July

18

Matthew 18:1-14 18:15-35

July

19

Matthew 19:1-12 19:13-30

July

20

Matthew 20:1-19 20:20-34

July

21

Matthew 21:1-22 21:23-46

July

22

Matthew 22:1-22 22:23-46

July

23

Matthew 23:1-22 23:23-39

July

24

Matthew 24:1-23 24:24-51

July

25

Matthew 25:1-13 25:14-46

July

26

Matthew 26:1-16 26:17-35

July

27

Matthew 26:36-56 26:57-75

July

28

Matthew 27:1-16 27:17-31

July

29

Matthew 27:32-44 27:45-66

July

30

Matthew 28:1-10 28:11-20

July

31

Psalm 7 104

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, June 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 2 of 8)

Morning prayer

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a passage from the schedule found below or a reading from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a passage from the schedule or one from WELS.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in June

Month Day Book Morning Evening

June

1

Psalms 4 3

June

2

Psalms 63 4

June

3

Psalms 103 8

June

4

Psalms 130 91

June

5

Colossians 1:1-12 1:13-29

June

6

Colossians 2:1-7 2:8-23

June

7

Colossians 3:1-11 3:12-25

June

8

Colossians 4:1-9 4:10-18

June

9

1 Thessalonians 1:1 1:2-10

June

10

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 2:13-20

June

11

1 Thessalonians 3:1-10 3:11-13

June

12

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 4:13-18

June

13

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 5:12-28

June

14

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5 1:6-12

June

15

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 2:13-17

June

16

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 3:6-18

June

17

1 Timothy 1:1-11 1:12-20

June

18

1 Timothy 2:1-8 2:9-15

June

19

1 Timothy 3:1-13 3:14-4:5

June

20

1 Timothy 4:6-11 4:12-16

June

21

1 Timothy 5:1-16 5:17-25

June

22

1 Timothy 6:1-10 6:11—21

June

23

2 Timothy 1:1-14 1:15-2:13

June

24

2 Timothy 2:14-19 2:20-26

June

25

2 Timothy 3:1-9 3:10-17

June

26

2 Timothy 4:1-8 4:9-22

June

27

Titus 1:1-4 1:5-16

June

28

Titus 2:1-10 2:11-15

June

29

Titus 3:1-11 3:12-15

June

30

Philemon 1:1-9 1:10-25

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

Reformation devotions, May 1517+500 (homologoumena, part 1 of 8)

Morning devotions

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

As time allows, read a Psalm or a passage from the schedule found below.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening devotions

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Next, consider reading a Psalm or a passage from the schedule.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Schedule of readings in May

Month Day Book Morning Evening

May

6

John 1:1-34 1:35-51

May

7

John 2:1-12 2:13-23

May

8

John 3:1-21 3:22-36

May

9

John 4:1-38 4:39-54

May

10

John 5:1-24 5:25-47

May

11

John 6:1-25 6:26-71

May

12

John 7:1-24 7:25-52

May

13

John 8:12-30 8:31-59

May

14

John 9:1-12 9:13-41

May

15

John 10:1-19 10:20-42

May

16

John 11:1-29 11:30-57

May

17

John 12:1-26 12:27-50

May

18

John 13:1-20 13:21-38

May

19

John 14:1-15 14:16-30

May

20

John 15:1-11 15:12-27

May

21

John 16:1-15 16:16-33

May

22

John 17:1-12 17:13-26

May

23

John 18:1-24 18:25-40

May

24

John 19:1-15 19:16-42

May

25

John 20:1-18 20:19-31

May

26

John 21:1-14 21:15-25

May

27

1 John 1:1-4 1:5-10

May

28

1 John 2:1-14 2:15-29

May

29

1 John 3:1-12 3:13-24

May

30

1 John 4:1-6 4:7-21

May

31

1 John 5:1-12 5:13-21

About these devotions

1517-2017 grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone

The Lord’s Supper and the perspicuity of Scripture: Why do Lutherans disagree with the symbolic view?

In spite of claims that the Scripture is so unclear that it needs an outside infallible interpreter, Martin Luther found some of its passages clear enough both to rely on them with complete confidence for eternal life and to shed light on many passages that are otherwise less clear. Although many individual texts lack clarity in themselves, simple trust in the straightforward texts makes the doctrine taught by Scripture, including every article of faith, completely clear. Such texts are so lucid that they need no exegesis in the sense of clarification. No more open to different interpretations than ordinary human language, the clear passages make possible the understanding of many less clear passages, the unity of faith, and the rejection of false teaching. This is what it means for Scripture to interpret Scripture: many unclear passages of Scripture are clarified by passages of Scripture that need no clarification, neither from human interpreters, nor even from other Scripture. For example, the Ethiopian eunuch could not understand an unclear messianic prophecy without Philip’s interpretation, now recorded as perfectly clear Scripture that interprets the less clear prophecy (Acts 8:30-35). Many of those who deny this doctrine of the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture claim that divisions among Protestants result from different interpretations of Scripture passages, …

More: The Lord’s Supper and the perspicuity of Scripture: If the Bible is perfectly clear, why do Protestants still disagree?