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Once, when presenting the topic of efficacy, I offered a brief catechism on the topic. When it was published, Dan Fleischer's son-in-law suggested that Scriptural references be added to the questions and answers.

This catechism concentrates on the efficacy of the Word and serves as a summary of the book, an epitome. Lutheran quotations and Biblical references are included together.

One reader of the draft chapters suggested that the Biblical references always be quoted completely rather than simply listed. In this chapter, the Greek text is not used. However, The Lutheran Hymnal is quoted whenever a hymn reflects the topic. Hymns often originate in times of confessional crisis and serve as excellent summaries of doctrinal issues.

"Though all the powers of evil
The will of God oppose,
His purpose will not falter,
His pleasure onward goes.
Whatever God's will resolveth,
Whatever He intends,
Will always be accomplished
True to His aims and ends."

Paul Gerhardt, 1656, "Commit Whatever Grieves Thee," The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #520. Isaiah 55. From Chapter 4.

"It is indeed a precious truth, that this Word not only tells me what I must do to be saved, but it also
enables me to do it. It is the vehicle and instrument of the Holy Spirit. Through it the Holy Spirit works repentance and faith. Through it He regenerates, converts, and sanctifies."
          G. H. Gerberding,
The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887, p. 132. [emphasis in original]

"How beautifully the apostle in these strong words extols the grace of God bestowed in baptism! He refers to baptism as a washing, whereby not our feet only, not our hands, but our whole bodies are cleansed. Baptism perfectly and instantaneously cleanses and saves. For the vital part of salvation and its inheritance, nothing more is necessary than this faith in the grace of God. Truly, then, are we saved by grace alone, without works or other merit."
          Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 154. Titus 3:5. From Chapter 4.         

Holy Cross
Lutheran Church,
Midland, Michigan

June 25-26, 2002

Phone: 623-334-8014

Email: chemnitz@qwest.net