The Chief Doctrine of the Christian Religion
By Rev. Kenneth Wieting

God justifies us freely by grace for Christ's sake through faith. Although we learn this as children, we never perfectly learn it. Nothing in all the world works like this! God's redeeming work in Christ is so contrary to our ideas of merit and worthiness! We are so undeserving of God's salvation, full and free! How is it possible that God could love us so much?
The Chief Doctrine of the Christian Religion
By Rev. Kenneth Wieting

God justifies us freely by grace for Christ's sake through faith. Although we learn this as children, we never perfectly learn it. Nothing in all the world works like this! God's redeeming work in Christ is so contrary to our ideas of merit and worthiness! We are so undeserving of God's salvation, full and free! How is it possible that God could love us so much?

Yet, this is the beating heart of God's revelation in Jesus Christ. At the Baptism of our Lord we see that the Holy Trinity is unmistakably "for us" sinners. As the Lamb of God receives a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as Jesus shoulders our sin and takes His first public step toward the cross, the Father is well pleased and the Holy Spirit anoints Him for this saving work. That work was to fulfill all righteousness as our substitute and to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.  The Resurrection of our Lord shows that the victory is full - our redemption is finished!  His sacrifice on Calvary is all-sufficient!

That is the gift the risen and ascended Christ gives to you in Holy Baptism! God justifies you freely by grace for Christ's sake through faith. It is the gift the ascended Christ continues to bestow in His gifts of Word and Sacrament in weekly worship.  As God and Man - Jesus has been given all the authority in heaven and on earth - all the authority of God's right hand.  The infinite treasures He promises in humble means are not too great for Him to bestow.   

Justification by Grace for Christ's sake through faith is the most important teaching in the Christian religion. It distinguishes the Christian religion from false religions, all of which teach salvation by works. It gives enduring comfort to penitent sinners, and it gives all glory to God for His grace and mercy in Christ.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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