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“The wages of sin is death”, and less than death it cannot be. The extreme penalty must be inflicted by the righteous and sovereign Creator of all things and Lord of lords. For thereby He glorifies Himself. The sinner always refuses to serve God, and all sin is a failure to glorify Him who alone is worthy to receive praise and adoration and who made all things for His own glory. All sin is rebellion against this “jealous” God.
In this remarkable chapter of I Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul defends the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, over against all unbelief and skeptical reasoning. He defends the premise that if there is no resurrection of the dead then is Christ not risen. And, to be sure, if Christ is not risen then we are still in our sins, our faith is vain and all preachers of the resurrection facts are found to be false witnesses. But Christ is risen!
It is with a feeling of sadness that I write this article. ‘For how is the gold become dim’. How is the fine gold changed by the writer in the Concordia. For among our treasures is especially this one: namely, that we are unconditionally saved by grace alone, and that through faith which is the power of God unto our salvation and which overcometh the world. The world in its widest meaning. The world as that world lies ’round about us, but also that world as it is within us.
We turn to the eleventh and the twelfth verses of Isaiah 53; and, as quoting the text in the original, read God’s Word as follows: “On account of the travail of his soul, he shall see and be satisfied. By his knowledge my servant, the righteous one, shall procure righteousness for the many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. John 5:25.
Again, in Canon VI we read: “If anyone saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in procession, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolaters: let him be anathema.”
The following was adopted by our last Synod: A BRIEF DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCHES The Protestant Reformed Churches stand on the basis of Scripture as the infallible Word of God and of the Three Forms of Unity. Moreover, they accept the Liturgical Forms used in the public worship of our churches, such as the Baptism Form, et alii, as confessions of a minor order.
“But the just shall live by faith.” Hab. 2:4b The just shall live! That just man shall live now and for evermore. He shall live by faith! That is the ever-reassuring answer of all the Holy Scriptures to a constantly recurring question. We may eagerly ask: Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Or who will stand in His holy place?