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We believe as all believers have: Part 13

“We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”

Joel D. Otto

In the early centuries of the Christian church, it was common for Christians to gather regularly where their dead were entombed. The purpose was to remember those fellow Christians who had died in the Lord—especially martyrs who died for their faith—and rejoice in the hope of the resurrection. In fact, during one severe bout of persecution, Christians were banned from visiting their cemeteries. The hope of the resurrection was very real for the early church.

Our 21st-century world does its best to put off death. It’s obsessed with diet and exercise, medication, surgery, therapy. All of this can serve to mask the reality of death. Death is unnatural. It is ugly and nasty. It is what sinful humanity has earned and deserves (Romans 5:12; 6:23). No amount of embalming, make-up, or well-manicured cemetery lawns can change that fact. Everyone faces the death of loved ones. Everyone will face his or her own death. Death is an emotionally-charged subject, even if most people don’t want to think or talk about its reality. No one escapes it.

As Christians, we have to face death’s harshness. We also do our best to prolong our lives. Many Christians strive to care for the bodies God has given us by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and making use of the blessings of medicines. Yet we recognize the ultimate futility of these measures. No matter what we might do to live longer, we will all eventually face death—unless Jesus returns first. And our journey will also include dealing with the loss of loved ones.

But we react differently. The death of a Christian, while a sad time because we lose the companionship of a loved one, becomes a victory celebration. Our own death, while scary and unpleasant because of possible pain and an uncertain process, is the way God brings us to the heaven he was won for us and prepared for us (John 14:1-3). He gave his Son into death that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus is “the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in [him] will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Jesus “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).

That is why we “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We are confident that when we Christians die and are buried, our bodies will be raised and glorified when Jesus returns in glory (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:20,21). Because our Redeemer lives, we will enjoy a new eternal, heavenly home where we see God face to face and enjoy life without suffering or sadness (Job 19:25-27; Revelation 21:1-4). With Christians down through the centuries, “we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”


EXPLORING THE WORD

1. How might the promise of the resurrection give you comfort as you face difficulties in life?

We have God’s promise that these present sufferings we endure are temporary and fleeting. The glory Jesus has won for us is forever (Romans 8:18). At the resurrection, all of the problems and difficulties of this life will be gone because sin will no longer be present. God has promised us a final and full deliverance. We will be rescued from this world of troubles (Revelation 21:4; Revelation 7:14-17). Many of our difficulties involve our physical bodies. At the resurrection, God will give us glorified bodies that cannot suffer pain or die (1 Corinthians 15:42-50; Philippians 3:20,21). Perhaps most important, we will see our Savior face to face and worship him for all eternity (Job 19:23-27; Revelation 21:1-3).

2. Explain how you would find comfort in the promise of the resurrection as you face the death of Christian loved ones.

There are a lot of different places in Scripture to go for this comfort. But focusing on the promises God gives in his Word in connection with Jesus’ resurrection gives the most comfort. Jesus’ conversation with Martha at the grave of Lazarus assures us that those who have been brought to faith in Jesus have spiritual life now and eternal life because Jesus has conquered death. He is life itself (John 11:17-27). Jesus promised that he has prepared a place in his heavenly home for those who believe that he is the way, truth, and life (John 14:1-6). Death does not have the last word for those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Jesus will raise and glorify his believers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). As we face the death of a Christian loved one, there will usually be sadness and grief because we are losing someone we love. We will not see them or talk to them again this side of heaven. But for Christians, death is a precious and blessed event because it is the way God brings his believers into their eternal rest, away from the troubles and hardships of this life (Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:13).

In some ways, the exact comfort of Scripture that will serve us best will depend on the nature of the situation. Was this someone who endured a prolonged and painful battle with cancer? Was this an aged Christian who was taken peacefully? Was the death sudden and unexpected? A young person? A child? Different promises will provide specific comfort in different situations. But the one common factor will be the resurrection of Christ. Christians are buried with him and raised with him at our baptism (Romans 6:4,5). The Jesus who conquered death by leaving a sealed tomb alive now lives and reigns over all things for the good of his believers, including his believers who are facing death or facing life after the death of a loved one. And he will most certainly break open our tombs on the Last Day and give us the full and final victory over death forever.

3. Explain how you can comfort a friend at the loss of a loved one.

If the loved one of the friend was a Christian, see the answer to the previous question. If the loved one was not a Christian—or you’re not as certain as you might be if the person was a regular attender in worship and confessed his or her faith—then there isn’t a lot of comfort that can be given. You can assure your friend of God’s love for him/her in Christ, a love that will not be taken away, even if a loved one has died. You can remind them that finally only the Lord knows those who are his believers (2 Timothy 2:19). We can’t see faith in someone’s heart. But any death should remind us how fleeting life can be and the reality that our times are in the Lord’s hands (Psalm 31:15). Therefore, we need to be ready at all times by devoting ourselves to hearing the Word and receiving the Lord’s Supper. At such moments, Christians need to express compassion and tender support for those left behind. That compassion is a fruit of our faith and provides us an opportunity to share our faith.

Death is also a reminder of the urgency to share the good news of Jesus with our unbelieving family and friends. The following prayer conveys the kinds of thoughts one could share with a friend who has lost an unbelieving loved one. “We ask that you would give them the strength they need in this time of grief, and comfort them with the precious assurance of your love for them in Christ Jesus. May this death remind us all of how quickly our lives here on earth come to an end. Lead us all to use the time you have given us to grow in our knowledge of you and your Word. When you summon us, may we be found in sincere repentance and steadfast faith, prepared to stand before your judgment seat” (Christian Worship: Pastor’s Companion, p. 302).


Contributing editor Joel Otto, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Salem, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This is the final article in a 13-part series on the Nicene Creed. Find this study and answers online after Nov. 5 at wels.net/forwardinchrist.

 

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Author: Joel D. Otto
Volume 102, Number 11
Issue: November 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

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We believe as all believers have Part: 12

“We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”

Joel D. Otto

Throughout the history of the church, there were many false teachings about Baptism. In the early centuries, some thought that the validity of a baptism hinged on the person administering the baptism. If the pastor had fallen away during a time of persecution or lived an immoral life, any baptism he performed was invalid. Everyone he baptized had to be baptized again.

During the time of the Reformation, some denied the need for infant baptisms. In their view, anyone who was baptized as an infant wasn’t really baptized. You had to be old enough to make a conscious decision to be baptized.

One of the most popular false teachings about Baptism today is that it is simply a ceremony to show that you are a Christian. Baptism doesn’t really give you the forgiveness of sins. It is just something you do to demonstrate your commitment to Christ—a picture or sign that you became a Christian. In fact, that’s one reason why some insist that the only right way to baptize is to dunk someone completely under the water—immerse them.

All of these false teachings miss the point. Baptism has nothing to do with the commitment level of the person being baptized or the moral character of the one doing the baptizing. Rather, Baptism has everything to do with the activity of the triune God.

Jesus commanded his believers to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is one of the tools God uses to make people disciples of Jesus. Through Baptism, the Holy Spirit works faith and new life in the heart of a spiritually dead, sinful, unbelieving enemy of God (John 3:5,6; Acts 2:38,39; Galatians 3:26,27; Titus 3:5-7). Through Baptism, our sins are washed away and forgiven (Acts 2:38,39; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11). Through Baptism, God rescues us from the terrors of a guilty conscience and the power of death and hell by connecting us to the death and resurrection of Jesus (1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:13,14).

It seems like such a simple act. A handful of water and a few words, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But God’s saving power and limitless grace were directed at you in your baptism. The Father claimed you as his beloved and forgiven child. The Son cleansed you with his blood and clothed you in his righteousness. The Spirit miraculously worked a simple, childlike trust in Jesus in your heart, a trust that has grown as you have been taught the truths of God’s Word (Matthew 28:19).

So we join believers, past and present, in acknowledging “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:4-6) for the forgiveness of sins. And we continue to do what believers have always done: We baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, trusting the promises of God that the water and the Word bring amazing blessings.


EXPLORING THE WORD

1. Give scriptural answers to the following objections to infant baptism.

a. Babies don’t need to be baptized. They are not accountable for sin.

Babies don’t need to be baptized. They are not accountable for sin. David clearly confesses that he was “sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Jesus also says that “flesh gives birth to flesh” and that everyone must be born again by water and the Spirit if they are to enter the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3-6). Jesus is clearly implying that everyone born into this world in the natural way has a spiritual problem. They need a spiritual rebirth. One way this spiritual rebirth is given is through water and the Spirit (see also Titus 3:5,6). Paul also brings this out in Ephesians 2:1-3. He says that we were dead in our sins. This is our natural spiritual condition, a condition that is evident in sinful desires and actions. This dead condition and these sinful actions make all of us “by nature deserving of wrath.”

b. Babies can’t believe in Jesus because they can’t confess their faith.

Babies can’t believe in Jesus because they can’t confess their faith. First of all, Jesus warns, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 ESV). Jesus clearly says that little ones can believe in him. In Luke’s account of Jesus blessing the children, Luke uses the Greek word for “infants” (Luke 18:15). We would not want to say that Jesus’ blessing and words would not have an effect. Second, the problem with this objection is that it equates believing with a verbal expression of faith or a mental comprehension of the content of faith. Faith is simple trust in Jesus. Infants learn very quickly to trust their parents. Who are we to say that an infant can’t trust in Jesus, a trust that is, in all of us, a miracle of the Spirit’s work through the Word and sacraments?

2. Describe how your baptism can continue to help you in your Christian life.

When I fall into sin, my baptism reminds me that I need to drown my old sinful nature and that my sins have been washed away because I’m connected to Jesus’ death and resurrection through Baptism (Romans 6:3-6; Fourth of Baptism in Luther’s Catechism). When I face temptation, my baptism reminds me that I’m a child of God (Galatians 3:26,27). That is my identity. That is what God has made me through Baptism. Therefore, I can battle and resist temptation; I can strive to live as the child of God he has made me to be (Romans 6:1-14). When I face doubts about my salvation (perhaps because temptation gets the best of me and I fall into sin), I can return to my baptism and see again all of the blessings God has given me. I am forgiven (Acts 2:38,39). I have been rescued from the punishment my sins deserve (1 Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16). I have been given a new life of faith by the power of the Spirit (John 3:5,6); therefore, I am declared not guilty and an heir of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7). I am God’s dearly loved child through faith in Christ (Galatians 3:26,27). And when I face death, I find security that I am a baptized child of God who has already been rescued from death and hell. I have the promise of the resurrection because I’m connected to Jesus’ death and resurrection in baptism (Romans 6:4,5). For an excellent treatment of these thoughts in poetic form, see the hymn “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It” (Christian Worship: Supplement 737).


Contributing editor Joel Otto, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Salem, Milwaukee.

This is the 12th article in a 13-part series on the Nicene Creed. Find this study and answers online after Oct. 5.

 

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Do you have a manuscript, idea, or story from your own life you’d like to share for use in Forward in Christ or on wels.net? Use our online form to share it to our editorial office for consideration.

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Get inspirational stories, spiritual help, and synod news from  Forward in Christ every month. Print and digital subscriptions are available from Northwestern Publishing House.

 

Author: Joel D. Otto
Volume 102, Number 10
Issue: October 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

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We believe as all believers have: Part 11

“We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.”

Joel D. Otto

Catholics. Baptists. Methodists. Presbyterians. Pentecostals. Several flavors of Lutheran. With all of these different church bodies, how can we believe that there is “one holy Christian and apostolic Church”?

There have always been divisions in the church on earth. It is a reality because of false teachers, as Jesus warned (Matthew 7:15) and the apostles wrote (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 4:1-6). When the Council of Nicaea met in A.D. 325, there were Arians who taught that Jesus was not equal to the Father and Donatists who believed that the validity of the sacraments hinged on the moral character of the clergy.

Yet, down through the centuries the church has confessed: “We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.” So what is meant by these words?

We first need to understand what the word church means. It is translated from a Greek word that means “called out.” Those who belong to the church have been called out of the darkness of unbelief to the light of faith in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the gospel (1 Peter 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14). Believers in Jesus are the only true members of the one holy Christian and apostolic church.

That’s why we believe that there is only one true church. This one church isn’t equal to a visible organization. We cannot point to a church body or congregation and say, “There is the one true church.” But members of the one church will be found in church bodies and congregations where the gospel is proclaimed and the sacraments are administered according to Christ’s command.

We believe that there is only one church because the only way to be a member is to believe in Jesus as the only Savior. He is the only way, truth, and life (John 14:6). Jesus himself said, “There shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). So Christ is the only foundation and cornerstone of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The church is also described as “apostolic” because the only way to learn about Jesus is through the Word of God, the writings of the apostles and prophets. God’s Word—the inspired words God gave to the apostles and prophets—tells us of Christ and is the only source of truth in the church.

Since the Holy Spirit has brought us to faith in Christ, we are a “holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21). By faith in Jesus, we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9). We have an incredible status because the Spirit has brought us into the one church.

Even though false teachers continue to divide the visible church, the one true church will not be overcome because the gospel will continue to be proclaimed (Matthew 16:18; 24:14). And so we continue to confess with confidence as all believers have: “We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.”

 


Exploring the Word

1. What are the differences between the invisible church and visible churches?

The invisible church consists of all people who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior, no matter when or where they have lived, no matter what visible church they have belonged to (see Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Visible churches, on the other hand, consist of people who have claimed membership in those churches. They may believe in Jesus, or they may not. They may be hypocrites. It is not up to us to determine who is or who is not hypocrites or true members of the invisible church. That is the Lord’s work on the Last Day (see 2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 13:24-30,36-43). There will be members of the invisible church in visible churches where the gospel is proclaimed and the sacraments are administered (Isaiah 55:10,11).

2. Describe the importance of the apostolic nature of the church.

The content of the faith of the invisible church is apostolic, that is, it is the written Word of God which the Spirit inspired the apostles and prophets to write. Likewise, that same prophetic and apostolic Word is the tool of the Spirit to create and sustain true faith in Christ. That’s why Paul speak of the apostles and prophets as the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:19-22). It is also why Paul can speak of the unity of the church (Ephesians 4:3-6). There is only one faith revealed in the one divinely inspired Word of God worked by the Spirit through that same Word of God. Finally, since the Word does not change, the faith of the church does not change. Believers of the first century are saved and members of the church the same way believers of the 21st century are: through the apostolic Word. “Thus the faith of the church is not fickle, changing from year to year or generation to generation. The faith is firm and changeless in the deposit of faith handed down to us by Christ through his apostolic Word. It is fidelity to that changeless Word that makes the church apostolic” (Deutschlander, Grace Abounds, p. 451).

3. In the original Greek of the Nicene Creed, the word translated “Christian” is actually “catholic.” Literally, the word catholic means “universal.” In what ways does the Roman Catholic Church misuse this word? Why is a proper understanding of this word a comforting concept?

By using the word catholic in its name, the Roman Catholic Church has historically claimed for itself the one universal church or the one “saving church.” While the Roman Catholic Church has changed its stance on this in recent decades, the statements of the Council of Trent still stand that no one outside of the Roman Catholic Church can hope to be saved. The Roman Catholic Church thus equates itself with the holy Christian Church. It equates a visible church with the invisible church. It ignores Jesus’ words in Luke 17:20,21 and John 18:36,37. Even worse, the Roman Catholic Church condemns salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, which is what makes someone a member of the holy Christian Church.

The word catholic is properly understood as referring to the holy Christian Church, the invisible church. This is the one true church consisting of all people who have been called out of the darkness of unbelief to faith in Jesus (see 1 Peter 2:9). This is a comforting concept because my membership in Christ’s church does not depend on my family background, church membership, gender, race, or social standing. It only depends on the Spirit-given faith in Jesus as my Savior, faith given and strengthened through the Word and sacraments. Therefore, I also can be comforted by the fact that there are believers all over the world wherever the gospel of Jesus is proclaimed and the sacraments are administered. I have an invisible, yet real, unity with all who believe in Christ.

Contributing editor Joel Otto, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Salem, Milwaukee.

This is the eleventh article in a 13-part series on the Nicene Creed. Find this study and answers online after Sept. 5 at www.wels.net.

 

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Author: Joel D. Otto
Volume 102, Number 9
Issue: September 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

We believe as all believers have: Part 2

“We believe in . . . the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen”

Joel D. Otto

For the fourth-century writers and confessors of the Nicene Creed, this statement was not very controversial. There was no dispute among Christians that God was the almighty Creator of the universe. Even heathen unbelievers accepted that some divine being or force was the cause or “prime mover” of the universe.

Yet, those early century Christians thought it was important enough to clearly confess that God created all things. They were blessed with foresight because today this is an extremely controversial issue both inside and outside of the church.

Public education has long accepted the theory of evolution as the “scientific” explanation for the origins of the universe. But many Christian churches, in an attempt to appear intellectually acceptable to the secular culture, have compromised the creation account in Genesis. Some claim that God got things started and used the evolutionary process to bring the different species into existence. Others dismiss Genesis chapters 1–2 as myth. They say it was simply the way primitive believers tried to explain the origin of the world. Since scientific discoveries, they claim, have progressed so much, we have to get away from such myths.

The problem is that every attempt to diminish or compromise the Genesis creation account diminishes and compromises the power of the one true God. If he is truly “the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,” as the church has been confessing for centuries, then by all means he has the power to call into existence this entire universe by his spoken word in six 24-hour days. Consider the intricacies of the human body, the orderliness of the orbit of the planets, the fact that our planet is the right distance from the sun and rotates at the right angle and at the right speed.

Finally, however, it is a matter of faith. We can study God’s creation and marvel at it. We can attempt to debunk evolutionary theories. In the end, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe what the Bible says: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

Believing that our heavenly Father has created this universe gives us additional confidence that he has the power to help us. Even when the world appears to be falling apart, even when our lives might seem to be unraveling, we remember that by faith in Jesus we are children of the heavenly Father who in love and power called all the heavens and earth into existence, “seen and unseen.” He lives and rules all things for the good of his children.

So we can echo the confession of the psalmist: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).


 

EXPLORING THE WORD

1. We often marvel at what we can see of God’s creation. Describe as many of the “unseen” things of God’s creation as you can.

There are many answers. Here are just a few: air (consider how it contains just the right amount of oxygen), gravity (consider that the earth rotates at the right speed, on the right axis, at the right distance from the sun and moon), sound waves, heat/light/energy (we can’t usually see this, but we often see its source or feel the results), angels. One might also consider the way God makes the crops grow. We observe it happen, but it happens in such a way that it is hard for us to see. One might also think about the internal workings of the human body. These things are unseen unless we get an X-ray, MRI, or have surgery or some traumatic injury.

2. Read Psalm 139:13-16. How does an understanding about God’s creative activity help us view our bodies, intellect, and abilities?

It is true that sin has marred God’s perfect creation. That is why, for example, there are genetic defects. However, because we are knit together in our mother’s womb by the almighty God, the different look of our bodies, the different skills and abilities we have, and the different levels of intellect and understanding we possess, all are used by God to make us the unique people that we are. And God uses the uniqueness of each one of us for his good purposes and for our spiritual and eternal good. So we can view our bodies, intellect, and abilities as gifts of God’s power and grace, knit together to make each of us a unique blessing in his world and in his church to serve him and others, even if sometimes we might see what we consider to be defects and deficiencies.

3. Read Genesis 1:2,26; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17. While we usually confess that the Father is Creator, how do these passages inform a complete picture of creation? What does this tell us about the Trinity?

Both the Son and the Holy Spirit were also involved in the work of creation and continue to be involved in the work of preserving creation. The Bible does ascribe specific tasks to a particular person of God. For example, only the Son became flesh and was crucified. And we will often delineate certain titles for the persons of God based on the tasks typically ascribed to them (for example, Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier). However, when it comes to creation, all three persons were active. The three persons of the one God take counsel together and work together to care for us and save us.

4. In what way does your view of the origin of the universe affect your worldview and purpose in life?

If you hold an evolutionary view of the world where the world’s existence is a result of change, accident, or survival of the fittest, then your worldview is focused on yourself, and your purpose in life becomes personal survival and advancement in life and/or a pursuit of personal pleasure. There is no accountability toward something or someone higher than yourself. There is no Creator to honor and glorify, so you end of glorifying humanity and humanity’s achievements. Or people might turn creation itself or created things into “god.” Consider the way some people refer to “Mother Earth” or the way different civilizations have worshiped the sun, planets, or animals (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

On the other hand, if you believe that God created the universe, gave us life, and provides all that we need, then you also recognize that you are accountable to that Creator. Adam and Eve recognized that they were accountable to God for their disobedience, even though they tried to hide from him (see Genesis 3). Your worldview is focused on your Creator, and your purpose in life becomes obeying his commands; glorifying and honoring him in attitude, word, and action; and serving others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Deuteronomy 10:12). There is an accountability and responsibility to the God who gives and sustains life. Luther brings this thought out in his explanation to the First Article. After reviewing all that God has done to create us, provide for us, and protect us, he writes, “All this God does only because he is my good and merciful Father in heaven, and not because I have earned or deserved it. For all this I ought to thank and praise, to serve and obey him.” While ultimately we worship, honor, and obey God in gratitude for his saving works, his creating work also elicits our praise and forms our worldview as one where we strive to glorify our Almighty Maker in all that we do.

Contributing editor Joel Otto, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Salem, Milwaukee.

This is the second article in a 13-part series on the Nicene Creed.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY

Do you have a manuscript, idea, or story from your own life you’d like to share for use in Forward in Christ or on wels.net? Use our online form to share it to our editorial office for consideration.

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Get inspirational stories, spiritual help, and synod news from  Forward in Christ every month. Print and digital subscriptions are available from Northwestern Publishing House.

 

Author: Joel D. Otto
Volume 101, Number 12
Issue: December 2014

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us