Here is a very simple, every-day explanation and illustration comparing how Fundamentalists and Protestants see God’s Word function versus how Scripture-based, Christ-centered Lutherans see God’s Word living “functioning.”
When Fundamentalists and Protestants drive up to their garage door, they grab their “clicker,” point it to the motorized arm above the door inside the garage (the free will) and click the button. The “clicker” sends a signal to the motorized arm, the free will. The “free-will” hears the signal, makes a decision, and carries out the command or information it receives and opens the garage door. Because they erringly speak about free-will in spiritual matters, in conversion, revivals, etc, Protestants frequently speak about “making a decision for Christ,” “committing their life to Jesus,” “surrendering themselves to the Lord,” etc.
On the other hand, Scripture-based Lutherans drive up to their garage without a clicker. They look at the door and say, “Open!” God’s living Word goes forth, through the windshield—and without a receptor or motorized “free will” arm of any type, the Word itself opens the door! As Scripture says “He spoke and it was done” (Psalm 33:9). This is why God’s living Word, spoken in Baptism, Absolution, and Holy Communion performs miracles. God’s Word does what it states or commands. God’s Word is efficacious. Jesus says: “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working” (John 5:17).
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