Reformation Day 2018October28

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"I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth."


Salvation Unto Us Has Come
The hymn of the day for Reformation is Salvation unto Us Has Come (1524).  Included in the first Lutheran hymnal, the Achtliederbuch (1524), it was one of eight hymns given to the Church to carry the Gospel by song, particularly through the school children, who could quite quickly set it to memory.  Luther wrote four of these hymns, including Dear Christians One and All Rejoice, and Speratus wrote three.  Speratus wrote this particular hymn while in prison (1523)!  He had been excommunicated and sentenced to death by burning at the stake by the Church of Rome for among other things breaking the vow of celibacy, preaching against monastic vows (works), and getting married.  Through the intervention of friends he was delivered from prison and spared, his hymn preserved for the church, and he and his wife made able to join Luther in Wittenberg.

While the original German had 14 stanzas our English versions retain 10.  When many were illiterate and the services of the Church conducted in Latin what joy this hymn would bring to the brokenhearted, perhaps for the first time ever, to hear of Christ's saving work in one's own language.  The hymn is thoroughly grounded in the doctrine of the Scripture.  It contains powerful Law and Gospel, as it sings of the treasures of Word, grace, faith, atonement, salvation, baptism, and service to neighbor, poured out by Christ for sinners.  Imagine the relief it brought to those trying to buy their way out of hell with their money and works to hear "Since Christ hath full atonement made and brought to us salvation, Each Christian therefore may be glad and build on this foundation.  Your grace alone dear Lord I plead, your death is now my life indeed for you have paid my ransom." (st. 6) – Rev. Adrian Sherrill for Logia Online

Luther’s Explanation of his seal: First, there is a black cross in a heart that remains its natural color. This is to remind me that it is faith in the Crucified One that saves us. Anyone who believes from the heart will be justified (Romans 10:10). It is a black cross, which mortifies and causes pain, but it leaves the heart its natural color. It doesn’t destroy nature, that is to say, it does not kill us but keeps us alive, for the just shall live by faith in the Crucified One (Romans 1:17). The heart should stand in the middle of a white rose. This is to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace—it puts the believer into a white, joyous rose. Faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). This is why the rose must be white, not red. White is the color of the spirits and angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). This rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that a joyful spirit and faith is a beginning of heavenly, future joy, which begins now, but is grasped in hope, not yet fully revealed. Around the field of blue is a golden ring to symbolize that blessedness in heaven lasts forever and has no end. Heavenly blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and better than any possessions, just as gold is the most valuable and precious metal.

Sunday School October Memory Verses:

October 7 – 1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

October 14 – Job 28:28 - 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'

October 21 – Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path.”

October 28 – Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

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