Category Archives: Georg Stöckhardt

Not So Secretly and All Too Often

The apostle [Paul] says: “Persist with reading!” (1 Timothy 4:13) Therefore it is necessary to read, and diligently, regularly read [Scripture], and read everything that is written, all the Scriptures from beginning to end, and read what is read again and again so that one, when one is finished with the Bible, immediately goes back to the beginning. Joshua, the leader of Israel who was at the same time to teach the people the ways of the Lord, had the command of God: “Let the Book of the Law not depart from your mouth, but contemplate it day and night!” (Joshua 1:8) This is also said to us. It is not enough when a pastor lets himself be satisfied with the daily lectionary, with which he as head of the household edifies his family in morning and evening prayers. No, servants of the Word, theologians, have the special command of God: “Persist with reading!” And if a preacher also is occupied from morning to evening for the work of the [preaching] office, then he should just not forget that reading, persistent reading is also an duty of the [preaching] office. Lack of time is no excuse. We should simply make the best use of our time. Even longer or shorter offical travels absolutely should not hinder “persistent” reading. Just as every Roman [Catholic] priest takes his Brevarium, so every evangelical preacher can take his New Testament with him on his travels. Every theologian should be versed in Scripture and be at home anywhere in it. About Luther it is praised that he has been a more excellent Localis, i.e., every saying in Scripture could be found immediately. Whoever diligently reads in many cases saves the trouble of pouring over concordances. A famous theologian of this [19th] century has testified about himself that he had not gained his knowledge of Scripture from many books and commentaries, but chiefly from the Scriptures themselves, from lectio continua.

Georg Stöckhardt, “On the Theologian’s Study of Scripture” (Vom Schriftstudium der Theologen). Translated by DMJ

Stöckhardt and the Simul

We are told [in Article Six of the Formula of Concord] that Christians still stand in need of the punishments of the Law as well as of other punishments and plagues for this reason, “that they be aroused and follow the Spirit of God.” This is not to be understood as though the threatening and punishment of the Law were in itself an encouragement and, therefore, an inducement to obedience. No, a regenerate person nevermore does anything good by constraint of the Law. However, the Law with its teaching, warning, threatening, does indeed make room for the Gospel and prepares the way for it also where the conduct of the Christians is concerned. The Law reminds the Christian of his continual, daily sinning, disquiets him and becomes an occasion for him to seek with new zeal after righteousness and holiness. That willingness and that joyousness to obedience, which, of course, proceed alone from the Gospel, begin in the heart filled with anxiety because of inherent weakness.

But now we are chiefly interested in that part of the quotation from our Confession when it speaks of “the teaching of the Law.” Is it really so that believers need the doctrine of the Law for their good works, being unable to find the right way and erring in darkness without such doctrine? True, the Law is “a rule and standard of a godly life.” However, our Confession clearly teaches that believers “because of the Old Adam, which still clings to them,” and “because they are not renewed in this life perfectly or completely,” still need “the doctrine of the Law.” It teaches that if in their nature they were entirely free from sin, they would need absolutely no Law, that they would without any instruction of the Law do what they are in duty bound to do according to God’s will. Hence the Law is rule and standard for the walk of the regenerate in so far as they have not been born again, in so far as they still have flesh and are flesh. A Christian, in so far as he is born again, is driven by the Holy Ghost, whom be has received in the Gospel. Therefore he does willingly without coercion, of his free will, what is pleasing to God just as the sun, moon, and all the constellations of heaven of themselves gleam and, unobstructed, complete their regular course. Thus the good works of the Christians are fruits of the Spirit, fruits which grow of themselves. But the Spirit of God, who governs the children of God in what they do or do not do, certainly knows of Himself the good and gracious will of God and needs no teaching, no instruction. He guides and directs and drives according to His mind and will, and that is God’s mind and will, and thus leads us into the land of uprightness and teaches us to do according to God’s good pleasure. He is the Spirit of prayer, a Spirit of joy and gentleness, a Spirit of correction and fear of the Lord. A Christian therefore, in so far as he is a temple of the Holy Ghost, in so far as the Spirit of God has gained room within him, walks in paths of uprightness, lives in the Law, the will of God, knows, desires, and does what God wants “without any teaching of the Law.” But in so far as he still has the Old Adam, he is still subject to the error of sin and therefore often has the wrong conception of what he owes God and man, and loves to choose his own ways and works, his own manner of serving God. For this reason he still needs “the written Law,” the teaching of the Law, in order that he does not serve God according to his “own thoughts,” as our Confession notes. The Law exposes and condemns all self-chosen and self-devised holiness and piety. So the Law ever observes its prescribed course, even when it serves the Christians as rule and standard of their walk and life. Here too that expression of Scripture, the Law was given because of sin, remains perfectly lawful.

“Law and Gospel According to Their Several Effects”, trans. Rev. W.H. Bouman

Tagged

Forgiving Your Neighbor Flows from God’s Forgiveness of You

The guilty servant, who beats himself and begs for mercy, finds mercy with the king; “he released him and forgave him the debt.” God takes pity on us in eternity and sent His Son Who took on our guilt and the guilt of the whole world and paid for it with His suffering and death. Whoever repents and believes in this Savior is granted forgiveness, life, and salvation. Could there be a greater grace, greater love for sinners? How blessed must the debtor feel, he, released from all sins, is partaker of God’s grace in Christ through faith! How the love of God now must fill his heart, that he begins heartily to love not only God, but also his neighbor, his offender, his enemy! Truly, whoever has experienced the love of God in Christ, his heart must melt with love that he, according to the example of his heavenly Father, is also willing to forgive his debtor.

– Georg Stöckhardt, Sermon Outline from 1885

Tagged ,

The Reformation Is About Joy, Not Sadness

Every year about this time someone writes about the Reformation being a time of sadness and not of joy. Georg Stöckhardt says balderdash to this notion.

October 31, 1517 is a day to remember for all eternity for the kingdom of God on earth. On that day the work of the Reformation began. The shape of Western Christendom was completely changed by this work. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, the church of the pure Word and Sacrament, came to light and was a city of God on the mountain, a Zion of the Lord, and by God’s grace has remained to this very day. Though there are no lack of those who regard the Reformation as something deplorable, as a misfortune. They point out the fracturing and splitting up which has occurred in the Western Church since the Reformation, whereas before this had been like one flock under one shepherd, namely the pope. We cannot let ourselves alone be misled by this. We cannot let this interfere with our joy. The Reformation did not cause this splitting up, that we no less heartily lament, but the disobedience of so many toward God’s pure Word caused the Reformation. Luther’s reformation of the Church is and remains a great miracle of God.

– From an outline for a sermon on Revelation 14:6-7. Translated by DMJ

Tagged

Stöckhardt on “Hardening” or “Verstöckung”

The people of Galilee had hardened themselves against the bright and clear testimony of the truth, so it was a just judgment of God that dark pictures and riddles, which they could not solve, were now preached to them. The words “that seeing they might not see,” etc., the Lord took out of the prophet Isaiah. There the complete sentence as quoted in full by Matthew and Mark reads: “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Is. 6:10. The prophet had the commission from God to harden “this people,” this unbelieving, stiff-necked people, with his preaching. And thus also Christ’s preaching, especially that of His parables, finally served to harden the unbelieving generation of His time. Wherein the judgment of hardening consists, one sees from that very same passage. Luther here remarks: “We need not go to the extreme, so as to say, God blinds effectively, in an active manner. When God withdraws His Spirit and leaves the wicked to Satan, that is enough to harden them.” “God permits that those are blinded who will not believe the Gospel.” Luther. Lat. Exg. Works., Erl Ed., Vol. 22, p. 74. God does not blind and harden in such a manner that He exerts a positive and direct blinding and hardening influence on the heart and mind of the wicked. No, when God hardens a man, He withdraws His Spirit from him, while still permitting him to hear His Word outwardly. Thus a man can, of course, not understand what he hears, but must the longer the more stumble and take offense at the Word. God gives man over to the power of his perverted hardened mind. Thus God deals with those who harden their hearts against His Word. The Galilean people had long heard the preaching of Christ in vain, abused the grace of God to perform their sinful lusts, resisted the Holy Spirit. So it was a just punishment that God withdrew His Spirit, so that with seeing eyes they did not see, and with hearing ears they did not hear, and with their hearts did not understand. Those who by no means will hear and understand, they then also shall not hear and understand.

The double fact expressed here in plain and clear words, “to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,” and “to the others in parables; that seeing they may not see,” this we should acknowledge and take to heart well, but also let the matter rest there and search no further, search not for the last reasons. Here, of course, a mystery remains, that we Christians cannot fathom, and which God has not revealed to us. When we permit our thoughts to go beyond what the Lord here says, we arrive at the question: Why did God deal this way with the ones and the opposite way with the others? Why does He give to these “to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God” who by nature are just as blind and corrupt as the others? Why does He permit the others to remain in blindness and unbelief, and finally give them into the power of their perverted mind, which surely all had earned alike? Why does He not reveal or hide it to all in like manner?

God in His Word does not give us an answer to such questions and thereby forbids us to brood over them. Our Lutheran Confessions, the 11th Article of the Formula of Concord, on the basis of such passages as Luke 8:9, 10, confesses this fact: “One is hardened, blinded, given into the power of his corrupted mind, another, though being in like guilt, is again converted,” etc. But the reason and cause for this fact, the last reasons behind God’s wise counsel, the Formula of Concord puts on the docket of those things which God has buried in silence and which He forbids us to pry into. Luther, in one of the two sermons mentioned above, adds this remark to these two weighty verses of our text, Luke 8:9–10: “Therein the deep knowledge of divine providence is touched upon, that He hides and reveals to whom He will.” And he, too, manifestly here means, we should under no circumstances undertake to explore the lofty wisdom of divine providence or the mysteries of divine majesty. No, we should with our thoughts remain with what God’s Word, also our text, plainly and unmistakably testifies: To them that know and understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God it is given by God, in them God’s free grace glorifies itself. In the others, whom God gives over to their perverted mind, that they do not see and understand it, we should behold the severity and righteousness of God’s judgment, who will not let it go unpunished if men hear His Word and yet not heed it nor take it to heart.

An Analysis of the Gospel Read on the Sunday Called Sexagesima, 1889

Don’t Throw The Doctrine of Justificiation on the Ground or in the Well!

We must pay attention to the context in which the article of justification is found in Scripture. Isaiah 1:18-20 introduces the gracious judgment that God speaks to sinners: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” etc. What precedes it? A grave, sharp reprimand of the prophet. Isaiah punishes the ingratitude and apostasy of Israel[1], the hypocritical sacrifices with which the people sought to cover and gloss over its evil ways. The reprimand continues at verse 21 and following. The princes of the people are “murderers”, “companions of thieves.” We hear the New Testament preaching of comfort in Isaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort, comfort My people! says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and preach to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned” etc. At the same time another, harsher voice is heard: “It is a voice of a preacher in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the landscape a level way for our God” etc.[2] The speech of the wilderness preacher closes with the words “And thus”, when the way is prepared, “the glory of the Lord”, His glorious grace, “shall be revealed.” The way to the Lord and His grace is revealed by the preaching of repentance. In the second half of Romans chapter one St. Paul describes in thirsty colors the moral condition of the heathen world. The heathen have not honored God nor gave thanks to Him as their God, have set the creature in the place of the living God. For this reason God gave them over to shameful passions. Fidelity and faith have disappeared. They are “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil, whisperers” etc. In Romans chapter two the apostle passes judgment on the Jews. They are no better than the heathen. They set themselves up as magistrates and instructors who teach others that one does not steal, should not commit adultery, and yet they do precisely what they forbid others to do. In chapter three the sins of the heathen and Jews are summarized. The general human corruption is described with well-known words of Old Testament Scripture: “There is no one who is righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks for God, they have all deviated; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” And at this point the introduction about justification is now introduced: “But now the righteousness that avails before God has been manifested apart from the law” etc.[3]

Preachers must never lose sight of this connection when they bear witness about justification by faith. What use is the most precious gift when one allows it to fall on the ground or into the well instead of being handed to the needy? What help is the most powerful ointment and pharmaceutical if it does not contact the sore spot? How good and helpful is the most precious preaching about justification if it slides over the heads of the hearers, let alone over their hearts and consciences? The consolation of justification, divine grace, sticks only in a battered and anguished heart and conscience. Secure and careless hearts are only angered and hardened when one gives them only friendly, good words and comforts them with the grace of Christ. Therefore, it is the sacred duty of an evangelical preacher, who does not blindly throw away the entrusted treasure, but shall bring to man, to prepare his hearers’ hearts to receive the blessings and consolations of the Gospel, and always to prepare anew the way to Christ by the preaching of repentance. The Gospel is so dear to him, the salvation of hearers lie so near and dear to him, he must so seriously chastise sin, and indeed so chastise that the sinner feels his sin and is restless about it and therefore is worried how he may stand again before God. And it is necessary, following the example of Scripture, not merely to speak in general about sin, but to point out individual sins, and especially those sins that are common to all mankind, and also still cling to Christians. Even Christians still have, because they are flesh and blood, their share of the general corruption of mankind. People do not thank God as their God. Their heart hangs, instead of on the living God, on the corruptible creature. And how easy Christians still forget about the daily blessings of the benevolent Giver of all good things! How Christians still have love for vanity! People ask nothing from God. There is no fear of God before their eyes. And how often Christians set the fear of the Lord before their eyes, do what they please, and ask nothing afterwards whether it pleases God! People speak lies. The poison of asps is on their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. And even from the lips of Christians often overflow with bitter, poisonous speech. “In their paths are ruin and misery.”[4] In other words: In their paths are found misery and repression that trample over them and they are plunged into misery. One kicks, suppresses, and oppresses others in order to raise himself. And how often Christians also even deny and violate all consideration for their neighbors! Further, it is necessary to call sin by the proper name, to paint it as black as it really is. The prophet Isaiah called the princes and judges of Israel, “companions of thieves.” They were not common criminals who break into houses at night. But they took bribes, could be bribed. All unrighteousness in doings and dealings is theft. Isaiah calls the rulers of the people, “murderers”, and that is because they did not embrace the widows and orphans themselves, did not justifiably help provide for them. Whoever denies help and mercy to their neighbor breaks the Fifth Commandment, is guilty of his brother’s blood. It is necessary to expose the sins of the time, the moral damage of the current race. We have pointed to the bloodcurdling image that the apostle outlines in Romans chapter one about the Roman culture of his time. It remains intact even to this day. The present generation, who have brought so much in culture, art, science, education, industry, is morally lazy and rotten, a stinking rotten carcass. Modern culture is only a glistening cloak of shameful lusts and vices. And even Christians are infected by the general moral decay. Many have lost shame and discipline, sensation and conscience for decency in many parts. It also applies to those, heathens and Jews, who think themselves better than others, and who judge and master others and yet do the same thing, only in other ways, to punish others! Woe to those who gloss over their malice and wickedness with external worship! It is necessary to fight and to control sin with a holy, divine seriousness, and therefore also the incorrigible sinners who do not want to let go of their sin, to proclaim God’s wrath and judgment and to retain their sin, in order that they are still scared about them, before it is too late, and thus others learn to be afraid of sin.


[1] Isaiah 1:2.
[2] Isaiah 40:3-5.
[3] Romans 3:21ff.
[4] Romans 3:16.

Georg Stöckhardt, “The Practical Treatment of the Doctrine of Justification”, translated by DMJ

Stöckhardt: Not By Sight, But By Faith

What we have said about justifying faith on the basis of Scripture is explained by the example of Abraham’s faith at the end of Romans chapter four. And we should practically use this kind of example. Exempla illustrant.[1] We read in Romans 4:18-22: “In hope he [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was ‘reckoned to him as righteousness.'” Abraham believed in hope against hope. According to the common course of events there was nothing for him to hope. But he did not consider his own deadened body and the deadened body of Sarah, did not look at what lay before his eyes, but looked only at God and God’s promise, according to which he should be a father of many nations. He gave glory to God in that he did not doubt, but knew in the most certain way, was firmly convinced about it, that God could do what He has promised. We should apply this to ourselves. “But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”[2] We believe in God, Who has raised Jesus from the dead. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Resurrected, in Whom we have perfect righteousness, as the Gospel witnesses. And this is the type and nature of proper faith: he completely disregards his own person and looks solely at the promises of God that promises us vain grace, comfort, and joy in Christ. Faith is a marvelous thing. We go out, as we believe, as it were, completely from ourselves and cling with every fiber of our hearts to the great and rich promises of God, rest with our soul entirely in the Word that presents to us the righteousness that avails before God. According to the natural course of things, according to the judgment of reason and our own conscience there is nothing for us to hope. For we are sinners and deserve only death and destruction. But we believe in hope against hope. We forget ourselves, who we are, and direct hearts and thoughts solely on the Word that eternally stands firm outside ourselves, on the gracious promises of God of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, and not doubt that God actually does and gives what He promises in His Word, that all of God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ, and give God glory with such confidence.

Accordingly, a preacher should say to his hearers: Pay no attention to what is before your eyes! You probably still feel sin in your flesh daily. Your conscience often gnaws and bites at you. If you look at yourself, you have to hope for nothing good. But you must and shall entirely ignore your unworthiness and incompetence, your own person, your deeds and conduct, your own righteousness and unrighteousness. This is proper faith. Behold what lies outside of and around you! Fix your eyes straightaway on the Word. The comforting voice presses against you throughout Scripture: Be of good cheer, my son, your sins are forgiven! You shall not die, but live! And what God promises you in His Word is Truth, it has power and validity. Therefore give God glory and do not doubt, but believe in the most certain way that the gracious promises of God also concern us and will come true for you. Let this be your watchword: “I believe what Jesus’ Word promises, whether or not I feel it.”


[1] They illustrate examples.

[2] Romans 4:23-25.

“The Practical Treatment of the Doctrine of Justification”, translated by DMJ

Stöckhardt: The Vis Communicativa of the Word

Consequently a preacher must now also underline the importance of the word as a means of grace, namely regarding its vis communicativa.[1] The following circle of thoughts should constantly recur in preaching: Here you have the Word. The Word is really near you, it is always in your ears. Here you have Christ in the Word, here you have righteousness, grace, comfort, peace, joy, happiness and everything good. Therefore hear only the Word! Believe in the Gospel! Believe and accept what is given to you here in the Word! I proclaim and preach to you in the name and mandate of God that iniquity is forgiven. Only hear and believe what I say to you! When you rightly hear and learn and take to heart only the Word and preaching, then you have everything that you need, a gracious God and eternal life.


[1] communicative force.

“The Practical Treatment of the Doctrine of Justification”, translated by DMJ

Stöckhardt: Unsheathing the “It is Finished” of the Dying Redeemer

[Romans 3:24] says that we are saved through the redemption or by means of (διὰ) the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Through the redemption of Christ is established the righteousness that avails before God, our forgiveness of sins and life and salvation is acquired with it. The modern theologians make a sharp distinction between redemption and justification or forgiveness of sins. They teach the “possibility” of forgiveness of sins is revealed by Christ’s redemptive death, and faith lifts up this possibility of this human behavior into a reality. This goes directly against Scripture. No, we are justified by Christ, by the redemption of Christ. What justifies us before God is not any of these acts and conduct on our part, but only what Christ has done and suffered for us. God regards solely the work and merit of Christ when He declares us righteous. This whole business, God’s judgment of our person, is already decided in and with the redemptive work of Christ. Scripture testifies that we, as we are redeemed and reconciled, in so doing have been justified. We read in Romans 5:9-10: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Here the other certain fact is inferred from the fact that we are reconciled by the death of the Son of God, or what is the same, being now justified by His blood, that we are kept by Christ once from wrath, that we shall be saved by Christ’s life. “Reconciled” is considered here as synonymous with “justified”. The apostle writes in Romans 5:18-19: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Through the righteousness of one Man, Christ, has come the justification of life of all mankind. Through the obedience of one Man, through the active and passive obedience of Christ many were set forth as justified before God. Scripture testifies that in and with the redemption and atonement is the forgiveness of sins. We have in Christ “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”[1] “God was in Christ and reconciled the world to Himself, and did not impute their sins to them.” Here the statement is explained in more detail, that God reconciled the world to Himself in Christ, through the other, that he did not impute their sins to them, to mankind. If a preacher brings to light the redemptive work of Christ, when he unsheathes the “It is finished” of the dying Redeemer, when he rightly preaches Christ, then he bestows the comfort of justification to his hearers, the forgiveness of sins. He will comfort poor troubled sinners in the following way: Behold, Christ died for you, has given Himself for you, He has taken your guilt upon Himself, atoned for your chastisement, so you go free from sin, guilt, and chastisement. Christ has satisfied the righteousness of God with His suffering, death, and blood, has satisfied God’s wrath, so now God’s favor and pleasure is turned to you, you are reconciled to God, you have a gracious God in Christ. Christ has entered for you before God with His blood and His righteousness, with His perfect merit, so you are pure before God’s eyes, righteous, perfect, just as God wants you.


[1] Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14.

“The Practical Treatment of the Doctrine of Justification”, translated by DMJ

Stöckhardt: Christ says, “Demand it from Me!”

And so everything lies on the fact that a preacher presents and extols the great work of redemption to those who hear him and properly paints the crucified Christ quite spiritedly before the eyes. They find rest for their souls in this [preaching]. If we are justified through redemption, then it happened through Christ Jesus. Christ, God’s Son, has come and walked in our place. He is the Lamb of God Who bears the sins of the world.[1] The Lord cast all our sins on Him.[2] God has made ​​Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us.[3] Christ bears our sins. Of course, sin is no external load that one carries on one’s back. Christ has taken our sins upon Himself, i.e., He has take our sins on His conscience. He has attributed our sins to Himself. He has shown Himself to God as if He were the sinners and wrongdoers. He has made the declaration to God: I want to be the guilty one. Demand it from me! And God has hung our sins on Him. God has attributed to Him our sins and iniquities. God looks at Him as if He had done wrong all the things we have done wrong. Christ is the offender before God’s eyes. No doubt we still feel the sin in our members and still feel the sting of guilt in our conscience. But it does not hinge on how we view the matter, what we feel and sense. It all depends on how God views the matter. God now simply sees all our sin and transgression lie on the one Christ. This is the wonderful swap and exchange Luther so often points out, that a poor sinner may say to Christ: You are my sin. And all our sins Christ has borne in His body on the tree, the tree of the cross.[4] Christ died on the cross. Death on the cross was punishment of the criminal. The cross was a tree of the curse. What we have perpetrated is recompensed on Him. Christ was a curse for us.[5] He was wounded for the sake of our transgression and bruised for the sake of our sins. The chastisement lies on Him, therefore we are free.[6] Christ died for our sins.[7] Christ has suffered once for our sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones.[8] And so we are redeemed from sin, guilt, chastisement. The great, precious Word of redemption through Christ is the center of all Christian preaching. And no preacher should imagine that he need not tell His people anything more, they would know this well enough. No, so long as we still have to deal with sin, so long as we still sojourn in this sinful flesh, we have need of the Gospel of our redemption. This is the bread of the soul, the remedy for our wounded consciences.


[1] John 1:29.
[2] Isaiah 53:6.
[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21.
[4] 1 Peter 2:24.
[5] Galatians 3:13.
[6] Isaiah 53:5.
[7] 1 Corinthians 15:3.
[8] 1 Peter 4:18.

Georg Stöckhardt, “The Practical Treatment of the Doctrine of Justification”, translated by DMJ