Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
The reason for this is because the Ascension of Jesus happened a long, long time ago. What we know of the work of the Apostles comes to us from the Book of Acts and the Epistles of the New Testament.
There is also the evidence that the Christian Church has spread from its starting point in Jerusalem to the entire world.
By the time of the Lutheran Confessions in the 16th Century, much of the Church lost its focus and got off-track. Martin Luther wanted to bring the Church back to its roots and to its original mission: to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus.
That’s what we want to do as well. Learning from out the reformers in the 16th Century went about it will help us do the same five hundred years later.
In Luke 24, Jesus is calling the Church to proclaim Law and Gospel. This would be how the love of God would be shared in all the world.
The Church is to follow Jesus’ model of using the Scriptures to proclaim the message.
1500 years after Jesus, a group of faith Christians in Germany did just this!
Luther would write:
“All Scripture and the Word of God point to the suffering of Christ, as He Himself declares in the last chapter of Luke that Scripture contains nothing else than the promised grace and forgiveness of sin through the suffering of Christ, that whoever believes in Him, and none other, shall be saved” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works American Edition, Vol 14, p 168).
Luther has adamant that Christians know their Bibles in order to share the love of Christ with the world (and thus be fulfilling the Great Commission).
Christ himself opens the Scriptures to his disciples. If Christ does this, it must not only be important but absolutely vital to proclaiming the Law and Gospel!
And I don’t think anyone would argue that this world definitely needs to hear about the love of Jesus!
With multiple terrorist acts committed each week, with daily murder in our cities, with people all over the planet hurting, you and I have a message that can bring peace, comfort and hope to them!
We can tell them that God loves them and this is how we know:
“God is superabundantly generous in His grace: First, through the spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins is preached in the whole world. This is the particular office of the Gospel” (Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article 4, The Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord, ©2005 CPH, p 278).
I suppose it has to start with us. Yes, Christ tells us to go out and make disciples. But we start in “Jerusalem.” One what to look at this is that we start with ourselves.
We have to understand who God is, who we are, and what God has done and wants to do with us.
It starts with repentance.
“… to repent means nothing other than to truly acknowledge sins, to be heartily sorry for them, and to stop doing them. This knowledge comes from the Law. It is not enough for saving conversion to God if faith in Christ is not added. The comforting preaching of the Holy Gospel offers His merits to all penitent sinners who are terrified by the preaching of the Law. The Gospel proclaims the forgiveness of sins, not to coarse and self-secure hearts, but to the bruised or penitent. The preaching of the Gospel must be added so that the repentance may lead to salvation and not to the Law’s contrition or terrors” (Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration Article V. The Law and Gospel, The Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord, ©2005 CPH, p 554).
In a world literally dying to hear good news, you and I can share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Can, should, and will!
©2017 True Men Ministries