“We preach Christ crucified - a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles – but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
From Martin Luther: “Jesus tells us clearly that Moses with all his stories and figures points to Him, and means Him in the sense that He is the Center from which the entire circle has been drawn and towards which it looks and that whoever directs himself to this Center belongs in the circle; and when viewed aright, all stories in the Holy Scripture refer to Christ…. I see nothing in Scripture except Christ crucified.” (What Luther Says., 1959. p148).
This indeed is the treasure that we have been gifted in the Lutheran Church through the reforming work of Martin Luther: all our theology and all our teaching centers in Jesus. All our preaching and liturgy and worship centers in Jesus. In this we rejoice and rest, for – grounded and centered in Jesus – we shall remain safe from the false teaching that Satan seeks to subtly teach the church (Matthew 7:24-27) in order to bring us to condemnation. Built upon Christ, our salvation is sure; built upon anything else, we will fall.
So, during this month when we especially treasure our heritage and theology, let us realize that it is a treasuring and boasting in nothing other than Christ our Lord. Our works– even the work of Martin Luther – avail us not, but the work of Christ- in His work is our salvation! So here at St. Peter and in the church around the world, all our theology and teaching is Christology, or as Paul says, “We preach Christ crucified….”
A blessed Reformation Day to each of you. --Pastor Lorenz
Quick, literal definitions:
*Theology – a word about God
*Christology – a word about Christ
*“All theology is Christology” – all our teaching about God centers in Christ Jesus.
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“We should learn to make a distinction between Simon and the Lord Christ. Simon bears the Lord’s cross to the place of execution; then he leaves. This illustrates the real difference between the Lord Christ’s suffering and our suffering. We do not earn forgiveness of sins with our sufferings. Only the suffering of the Lord Christ is sufficient for that. He alone is the true sacrifice and the Lamb of God that has paid and rendered satisfaction for the sins of all the world. That is why His hands are suspended on the cross. But Simon merely walks under the cross, that is, the cross we bear serves to weigh down the old Adam and to curb sin. But the fact that sins are forgiven we owe solely to the labor and merit of our Lord Christ…. If the cross is to achieve forgiveness of sins, it must not bear Simon; but Christ must hang on it and die on it. And this is the reason why Simon goes free, for through Christ’s death we are freed from death and come to eternal life.” Martin Luther. Excerpt, sermon on Luke 23:26-31.