Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Martin Luther Teaches on Faith and Works


... something to meditate on this Sunday afternoon!

Martin Luther 1525
I have been trying to explain true faith and works that follow for years. In my last book, We Have an Altar, I have a chapter called “Identification with Christ’s Works”, which is one endeavor. I especially point to the two examples that James gives: That of Abraham, in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac, and that of Rahab, in hiding the two Israelite spies. Therefore, I am thankful for Martin Luther’s powerful Introduction to Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans, in which he deals with the subject with much more clarity, far beyond my capabilities.

I have listened to too many attempts to teach on this subject that sound to me to be exactly like the dead works that the dead religions teach, only that these teachers think that the works are done after salvation, instead of before. They lack Holy Spirit illumination on the subject, misinterpret the Apostle James’ doctrine and, I suspect, that they lack the experience of the new birth, from which true, living, gospel works proceed. Luther shows that true faith and its works are inseparable. It is false faith that cannot, even by supreme effort ever produce one living work, but has to resort to dead deeds of unbelief. This is important, so read well this excellent writing...

Forming a Home for the Glory of God, part I


Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.                                                                                    Ephesians 6:4

Raquel, our oldest daughter, and Daniel, our oldest son, both wrote about their home life in 2012. I think that a son or daughter can express with more authority the impressions of his childhood than a parent can. I might have classes, in which I give my opinions about bringing up children, but in the end, the proof lies with the children themselves. How did they see their childhood and adolescence?

Of course, we have heard our other five children speak of similar impressions, as those expressed here, but I have these written accounts conveniently at hand. They make it easy for me to convey to you, with greater strength, three basic and essential ingredients that can make a Christian home stand firm. Dan wrote to us personally and Raquel wrote in a Christmas letter the statements that I have copied. Also in 2003, Mike, the youngest son, wrote his testimony.
God’s reality in the home

Raquel being interviewed for a TV program
Raquel: God answered prayer after prayer supernaturally. None of us had any excuse to doubt God.

“Through trials, Dad and Mom always prayed for us and God always sent that peace that passes understanding. They taught us so faithfully to trust God and lived it themselves.”

“I was especially thankful for my godly upbringing when we had our car accident and we found out that especially in trials, God shows himself faithful. He filled us with such peace and joy and a supernatural acceptance that this too was God's plan, understanding that so clearly that even to this day I have never wanted to wish it all away.  And the joy remains.”  (The accident left Raquel in a wheel chair.)

Saints, Glory, Riches, Hope and Security


Paul gave thanks to God for the hope laid up in heaven for the Colossians (1:5). The writer of Hebrews attributed this hope to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. A priest was an intercessor, who offered sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. The depth of security attached to hope depends on the priest. The writer argued that one of the problems that existed in the priesthood before Christ was that the priests were mortals, their intercession ended at their death and their ministry was transferred to another. On the other hand, the power of the priesthood of Christ is according to an indestructible life and God declared, “You are a Priest forever”. I thank God that our hope rests in a High Priest, whose priesthood is non-transferable, but is perpetual and perfect!
"The glory of man is as the flower of grass"

One of the problems that we face in understanding the Bible is the difference in vocabulary, specifically, because of the biblical definitions of words. Some have to do with the difference in time between the New Testament and today and others have to do with the difference in the ambiance in which the word was learned. There can be a drastic change in the meaning of things seen from an earthly ambiance, and the significance given from the biblical, spiritual sphere.

Hallowed Be Thy Name


Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2

Hallowed be Thy name!
The Gospel of Luke has been called, I think fitly, the Gospel of Prayer. Here is a list of verses, in which Luke refers to prayer, showing by the number of them, his interest in this highest of Christian privileges and practices: 1:10, 13; 2:37; 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28-29; 10:2; 11:1-13; 18:1-14; 19:46; 21:36; 22:40-46.

We can see then why Luke, of all the Gospel writers, would not pass over the occasion when one of the disciples, after Jesus had been praying, asked him to teach them all to pray. Leonard Ravenhill, I suppose among many others, made note of the fact that the disciple’s desire came, as he heard Christ pray, and his request followed immediately after he finished.  “He didn’t ask, ‘Teach us to sing’ or ‘Teach us to preach’”, Len would say, “but ‘Teach us to pray’”. There was something so enviable about His communion with the Father… its intimacy, its excellence and passion… that it set the disciple’s heart on fire. He wanted this!

Four Questions Concerning the Resurrection


The writer of Hebrews declared “so great a salvation” and the reason it is so great is because it is a masterpiece of the omnipotent and omniscient God. The resurrection of Christ was the final proof that the work of salvation on the cross was fulfilled, that it originated in God, it was perfectly carried out by the triune God, and that it is powerfully able to save from sin and death.

My dad used to talk about an old saint, who one day asked a younger believer if he was saved. “Oh yes,” the man replied, “Three times already!” The old fellow replied, “Two times too many.” It is a very extreme doctrine that has man gaining and losing his salvation repeatedly. He is not only born again - but again and again. That mentality cheapens “so great salvation”, and spiritual shipwreck is too often the result.

If this is a day of  “greasy grace” and “easy believism”  (I believe it is), we had better not forget that it is also a day of huge dependence upon man’s abilities and responsibilities. The world’s arrogant concept of super men and superhuman ability comes sweeping into the church. We can do anything and everything depends on us! Religion teaches what man can do for God to gain his salvation.  True Christianity teaches what God 
has done for man, so that salvation can be a free gift… and I still believe it.

Is Salvation Only Forgiveness?


William Law (1686-1761)
 Our friend, Leonard Ravenhill, said that to be forgiven was to be half-saved.  I would add that to be half-saved is to be totally lost. Bible salvation means not only to be forgiven, but to be transformed into a new creation that loves righteousness and hates sin. From the first half of the 18th Century come these words from William Law…

But you will say, “Do not all Christians desire to have Christ to be their Savior?” Yes. But here is the deceit; all would have Christ to be their Savior in the next world and to help them into Heaven when they die, by His power and merits with God. But this is not willing Christ to be your Savior. For His salvation, if it is had, must be had in this world; if He saves you, it must be done in this life by changing and altering all that is within you, by helping you to a new heart, as He helped the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dumb to speak.