Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35


Our “New Wine” Reformation Heritage

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for
the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the
skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. 

But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved”

(Matthew 9:16-17 ESV).

This parable is a practical example of taking good care of household items.

Patching an old garment with unshrunk cloth would make no sense—as soon as you would wash it, the patch would shrink and you would be worse off than you were before. Putting new wine (which is still expanding) into stiff old wineskins would only result in a wasteful mess.

What was Jesus’ point with this parable?

The religion practiced by the self-righteous Pharisees was an old wineskin. “Follow our rules, be as holy as we claim to be, and God will reward you” was their message. This old wineskin was all works and pride, but the new wine that Jesus brought was the opposite. It was confession of sin, and trust in Christ for forgiveness of that sin. Jesus’ point was that works and grace are incompatible. You can’t “patch up” a religion of works. You can’t pour  the Gospel of grace into a heart that claims its own righteousness. It’s one or the other, as St. Paul makes plain: “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” (Romans 11:6). Read More…


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TLH = The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941; WS = Worship Supplement 2000; [ ] = Biblical Events Noted

Date Verse Reading Comments [Festivals of the Church Year]

Oct 1 TLH 267 Psalm 46 With God as our fortress, we find safety amid any turmoil.

Oct 3 TLH 340 Psalm 92 We “bookend” our days with the Lord’s love and faithfulness (v. 2).

Oct 4 TLH 570 Psalm 136 A refrain for the ages.

Oct 5 TLH 339 2 Chronicles 9:13-23 Solomon’s riches and wisdom were as great as we can imagine.  But think now—one even greater than Solomon is here (Luke 11:31).

Oct 6 TLH 658 1 Timothy 6:3-16 Even as Christ fought the good fight of faith before Pontius Pilate, we as Jesus’ children flee the world’s evil and pursue  eternal life. Read More…

The Old Evil Foe STILL Means Deadly Woe

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As evidenced in the famous Reformation hymn he wrote, Martin Luther was one person who did not have to be convinced of the existence of the devil, nor of the great danger that Satan poses to the souls of men. The monstrous nature of our old evil foe is aptly depicted in Revelation 20, where he appears as a dragon: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (1-3). Read More…

Hymn 263 “O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe”

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Thousands would die that day in Lűtzen, Saxony. Everyone on both sides knew it. November 6, 1632.  The Thirty Years’ War between the Roman Catholic Imperial forces and the Protestants had been raging for fourteen years. Camped in the fields of Lűtzen, the Protestant army of Sweden was awakened and assembled. They would attack the formidable Roman Catholic Imperial forces of Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein. Wallenstein was prepared for them with well-sited and well-defended positions. Read More…