“Salvation is the great end for which the Son of God came into the world. To restore fallen man to his original state of holiness and happiness, he must be delivered from the curse of sin that is upon him and the power of the devil that enslaves him.
“Christ our Savior and all his apostles preached justification by faith, even as did the prophets of the Old Testament. Justification is the central doctrine of all the Scriptures, the heart and soul of the entire Christian religion.
A Summary of the Christian Faith has been appreciated by Christians since its original publication for its easy to use question and answer format, its clear organization, and its coverage of all the essentials of the Christian faith.
“I want you to understand that I have never preached opinions from this pulpit; it is not a question of opinion; I have absolutely no right to stand here and give you my opinion, for it is not worth any more than yours; we do not come to church to get opinions; I claim that I can back up every sermon I have preached, with the Word of God, and it is not my opinion nor yours, it is the eternal Word of God, and you will find it so on the Judgment day.
“Human reason and inclination are always in their natural state averse to the doctrine of Justification by faith. Hence it is no wonder that earth and hell combine in persistent efforts to banish it from the Church and from the world.
Justified and saved by grace alone, for Christ’s sake, through faith — that is the kernel of the whole Gospel. This is the fundamental article of the Christian faith and upholds the entire system of Christian doctrine as well as the church itself.
“On November 16, 1881, 12 pastors and teachers, 4 representatives of congregations, and 9 guests met at Blue Island, Illinois to discuss the new doctrine of predestination the Missouri Synod had begun to teach at that time.
“This article [justification by faith] is, as it were, the fortress and chief bulwark of the whole Christian doctrine and religion. If this article remains inviolate, the perversions of the other articles will cease of themselves.
Towards the end of his life, C. F. W. Walther brought forth a teaching of election which many Missouri and other American Lutherans could not reconcile with the Scriptures or the Lutheran Confessions.
“Yes, the Lutheran Church does believe in salvation, in the absolute necessity of its personal application, and in eternal perdition to every one who will not come to God in His own way of salvation – through Jesus Christ.
The only way to be certain that we understand conversion and salvation correctly is to go to the Bible. This is what pastor Gerberding does in this excellent book.
Fanaticism “Why, then, a new book of sermons on conversion?
“…Every minister of the Gospel should so preach that he need never be ashamed of the words he has spoken. Do you suppose that if I were ashamed of my sermons I would have them put in cold print to speak long after I am dead?
“How much the Bible makes of faith! How little, comparatively, of election! Everywhere Christ insisted on faith and belief, while scarcely more than half a dozen times does He refer to “the elect,” and almost always in passages whose interpretation is more or less difficult.
“The force of a plain passage of God’s Word is sought to be evaded by the flippant reply, ‘Yes, so it reads in your Bible,’ as if we had made the Bible.