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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

26 April 2006

Three Important Things in Scripture

Q: From Genesis through Revelation, what are the three most important things?

Three FingersA: I could come at this question from any number of angles. Setting an arbitrary number means that I must arbitrarily combine some thoughts in order to give you three items.

1.   God made everything. This means that all Creation — including all mankind — is accountable to His will and His judgment. He remains active preserving and sustaining all He made. Various sub-doctrines in this category include Creation and Providence.

Three Fingers Mountain2.   Man sinned and messed up himself and the entire Creation. Not only did Adam’s fall ruin things for him and Eve: We inherit his sinful nature and are born outside a trust relationship with God, do not desire His presence, refuse to be accountable to Him, and despise or fear His judgment. This, of course, puts us at serious, even deadly odds with the first item listed. Included here are Scripture’s teachings on Man, Sin, Judgment, and the like.

3 Ball3.   In order to address #2 and restore us to the perfection of #1, God sent His Son Jesus Christ, who came, suffered on the cross, died, and rose to forgive our sins and reconcile us with the Father, and who will return in judgment, where He will bodily raise us up and bring believers in Him to eternal bliss. Within this point we cite the chief article of the Christian Faith, the doctrine of Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ. This ties intimately with Christology. Also included would be the work of the Holy Spirit in calling us to believe and preserving us in the Faith. Pneumatology (teachings about the Holy Ghost), Sanctification (making us holy in God’s eyes and leading us to live holy lives), the Gospel, Sacramental Theology (including Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord’s Supper), Ecclesiology (the Church), Eschatology (the Last Things), and other many other teachings come under this third broad category.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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