Dear friends in Christ,
First, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking a few moments out of your busy schedule to read our correspondence. We know you receive a great deal of mail, much of which comes in a format similar to ours so, again, thank you for your time and consideration.
How important is the truth? I know that seems like a silly question, and that may be so, but it is one worth asking and, more important, deserves an answer. Along with that we might also ask, how important is pure doctrine? That question, while just another way of stating the first question, is another that needs to be answered. Luther, in a devotion on John 15:3 (which reads: "You are now clean for the sake of the Word that I have spoken to you."
) writes, "This passage is said about doctrine, which must be pure and clear. It is clear, blessed, holy and one with God’s Word, without addition. But the life that should daily be ordered, purified and sanctified according to the doctrine is not yet completely pure or holy as long as this maggot-sack, flesh and blood, lives. Yet while that life is under the work of purification, or sanctification, it always receives a savior through the [good] Samaritan [Jesus], and does not ruin itself further evermore with uncleanness."
Luther goes on to say, "By grace that life is preserved unto good. It is gifted and forgiven and must be called pure for the sake of the Words by which it receives holiness and purity. So by this the Holy Christian Church does not become a whore, or unholy, as long as she is steadfast and remains upon the pure Word (that makes her holy). 'You are pure' (says Christ in John 15:3) 'not because of you but rather the Word that I have spoken to you.'"
Finally, Luther concludes his devotion with these pointed words: "So the holiness of the Word and purity of the doctrine are so powerful and true that even if also Judas, Caiphas, Pilate, the Pope, Hanswurst (the name given by Luther to Duke Henry) or even the devil himself should preach the same or rightly baptize (without addition, pure and true), then the true pure Word, the true Holy Baptism would be received." *
To strive for purity in the Word has always been a struggle for the Christian Church throughout the ages. It is no less a struggle today. We in the ACELC have committed ourselves to that struggle even as we call our beloved synod back to its first love, pure and true doctrine.
We ask for your support in this endeavor. If you would like to learn more about the ACELC, please contact Pastor Dan Bremer, chairman of the ACELC Speakers' Bureau, and he will arrange for someone from the ACELC to come and make a presentation in your congregation regarding our work. You may reach him by clicking on this link
. And please check out our website
for more information and resources.
In Jesus Name,
ACELC Board of Directors
* “Luther’s Family Devotions” © 1996 Joel Baseley Mark V Publications p. 513