Lutheranism 2

In the stead and at the command of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ . . . I forgive you all your sins.

The Lutheran leaders who speak those words are claiming to obey a command given by the Lord Jesus. The problem is that He has nowhere given any such command. Dozens if not hundreds of passages in the Bible speak of God Himself directly forgiving sins, both in the Old Testament and the New.

The word stead appears only twice in the New Testament. Only one of those is an instruction to do something in the stead of Christ. The only thing the Bible instructs us to do in Christ*s stead is to plead with people to be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ*s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The word instead does not appear in the New Testament.

Some of the men who make that declaration, when challenged to give a Bible text where that command is given, have said that it is implied. An implication is not a command. If they said: At the implied command of our Lord . . . they might then be truthful about their opinion but they would still be speaking an unbiblical falsehood. They know that their hearers would not as readily accept a mere implication. Here are the scriptures they usually cite:

John 20:22-23 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Matthew 16:19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 18:18: Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

These are not commands. They are statements. And they were made to a specific group of individuals. Furthermore, there is no occasion recorded in the Bible when any of them used that alleged authority, not in their communications with the unsaved or the saved.

Jesus* disciples proved the authority God gave them by healing the sick and raising the dead. God gave the apostles power to do those things to verify that the words they wrote were His Words. (The Bible) They never claimed that God gave them that power to prove they had authority to forgive sin. Paul exhorted Timothy and every minister to make full proof of his ministry.

2 Timothy 4:5: But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Even Jesus took it upon Himself to prove that He had the authority to forgive sin.

Luke 5:24: But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

If Peter had the power to forgive sin why would he instruct Simon to pray God to be forgiven?

Acts 8:18-22: And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles* hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

And why did the publican ask God to forgive Him?

Luke 18:13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Why would David have the privilege of going directly to God for forgiveness, if the rest of us cannot?

Psalms 51:1b: . . . Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Why would we need a man to tell us our sins are forgiven if we are indwelt by Christ?

Ephesians 3:17a: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; . . .

Why would we need a man to tell us our sins are forgiven if the Holy Ghost is in us?

1 Corinthians 6:19: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

If the Holy Spirit has revealed to us that we are the children of God, why wouldn*t He tell us our sins are forgiven?

Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Every command in the Bible is clear and unmistakable. It is unthinkable that a command for men to substitute for God in a matter as important as pronouncing the forgiveness of sins would be vague or merely implied.

Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Any individual that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and informed by the Holy Spirit that he is a child of God and that his sins have been forgiven will have no need of a mortal man telling him those things. He will know that any man was lying who told him his sins were forgiven before Jesus forgave them. He will know that any man was lying who told him his sins were forgiven before the Holy Spirit told him about it. Any man who has heard these wonderful news from the Holy Spirit will understand that it is not his task to substitute for the Holy Spirit in telling others they are forgiven. He will not tell men their sins are forgiven because he will know that the Holy Spirit is the only one who could reveal to his heart that he was forgiven and is also the only who can speak to the heart of other forgiven ones.

Psalms 116:11: I said in my haste, All men are liars.

Romans 3:4a: God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; . . .

Psalms 108:12: Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

John 2:24-25: But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

One steadfast Lutheran has told me they were sorry that Lutheranism didn*t work for me. The fact is that Lutheran doctrine works for no one. Receiving Jesus and all that He is works every time. They also said that the declaration was not a blanket statement. Their disclaimer should have been made to me four or five decades ago and not by a third party. Every time the statement is made to a different audience without all applicable disclaimers it is most certainly a blanket statement. Their belated disclaimer was like blaming a hearer for the lie of a liar.

To be honest I was gullible. Lutheranism was for me what I thought was the easiest way to heaven. No Lutheran ever told me that I needed to receive the Lord Jesus and in so doing give my heart and life to Him. No Lutheran ever told me I needed to be made into a new creature. No Lutheran ever told me that receiving Jesus was easier than rejecting Him. No Lutheran every told me the only way to heaven was to receive the Lord Jesus. No Lutheran ever told me that in order to be saved I needed my sins washed away by being regenerated. No Lutheran ever told me that I needed to repent of my sin.

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Mark 8:35: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel*s, the same shall save it.

2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Proverbs 13:15: Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Acts 26:20: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

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