Practical Implications of Universal Objective Justification

Paul says in 2 Corinthians that, since God has reconciled the whole world to Himself, we therefore do not, should not, regard anyone according to the flesh any longer. This passage has tremendous implications for all of our life, in the civil sphere, and in the way we view all mankind. I know this is not easy.

This means that God loves and died for President Obama.

This means that God loves and died for Donald Trump.

This means that God loves and died for Hillary Clinton.

This means that God loves and died for Bernie Sanders.

This means that God loves and died for every member of ISIS.

For every member of Child Protective Services.

For every member of the federal government.

For every member of ever race, no matter the race.

And this is not something that comes easy to us.

God has forgiven us all for the greatest crime of murdering His Son on the Cross.

We all murdered His Son.

He forgave us.

Therefore, since we have been forgiven of a debt we could never repay, the minor offenses from others are always minor in comparison, no matter what. The greatest crime was murdering God's Son.

We all did that.

However, because we are all still sinners, it is difficult to forgive. It is difficult to not regard others after the flesh.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who redeemed the world and took away the sins of the world, give us eyes to see the world through Your Holy Cross. On the Holy Cross You took away the sins of the whole world. Grant that we would be like You and love even our very enemies. Turn away all anger, evil, and hatred in our hearts. For everyone is in need of Your great redemption which You so graciously and generously provided for us all on the Cross, forgiving us and the entire world. Lead us to this peaceful place in which we view our neighbor in love, as You view them.

In Your precious Name, Lord Jesus Christ.† Amen.



I am to the point where I have little patience, if any, for other branches of Christianity besides Lutheranism. And this not in a "cage stage" sort of way. (I converted to Lutheranism almost two years ago.)

Instead, I am to this point because the more I grow in my Lutheranism, and in being so thankful for the pure Gospel found within Lutheranism, the more I see how *every single other branch* in some way, form, or fashion, turns a person within themselves, toward their own efforts. I absolutely abhor this. It is absolutely dangerous pastorally and practically speaking.

Even those branches that have the full Sacraments--such as Rome, the East, and some Anglicans--even they end up turning the Sacraments into law, and turn them into our efforts toward God. To me, this is no different than the other branches which focus on "what am I doing for God?"

Anyhoo, that's the point I am at. Honestly, I think it is a *good* point to be at. Why? Because it makes me impatient toward anything that obscures the Gospel.

This sinner needs the pure, unadulterated, 200-proof Gospel of God's declaration external and outside of me, delivered in Words spoken and Sacraments given as Gifts.

This sinner needs Lutheranism, and Lutheranism alone.

God coming down to me.

God speaking objective, gracious Words to me.

God giving objective, gracious Sacraments to me.

God continually forgiving my sins.

Thank You Jesus!



Lutheranism is distinguished from most of Christianity in how it approaches God's Word. We take a literal approach to God's Word, and we do not seek to "reconcile" things when they don't make sense to us.

But most of Christianity, sadly, tries to qualify or explain away God's Word.

Some examples:

*"I know the text in Genesis 1 says 'days', but they can't be literal days. This must be poetry or metaphor."

Lutheran Response: "Days" means "days." God spoke and His Word powerfully created. God's Word does what it says.

*"I know these texts talk about Baptism saving, giving the Spirit, regenerating, washing away sins, etc., but they cannot mean that, because only by faith are we saved."

Lutheran Response: Holy Baptism gives faith. God promises to attach His Word to the element of water and the Trinitarian Name. What God's Word promises, God's Word actually does. God's Word does what it says.

*"I know Jesus said 'this is My Body,' but it must mean 'represents' My Body because, after all, His Body was right there, and a human body can only be present at one place at a time."

Lutheran Response: Jesus says it is for the forgiveness of sins. Paul says it is a communing with the Body and Blood of Christ. Paul says if done in an unworthy manner then the communicant is guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ. How can one violate just a metaphor? Jesus said His Body and Blood forgives sins. He pointed to the Bread and called it His Body. He said it forgives sins. God's Word does what it says.

*"No one can forgive sins but God. So your pastor cannot declare Absolution."

Lutheran Response: Jesus breathed on the disciples and said "If you forgive men their sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are retained." God appoints His ministers to declare His Word of forgiveness. God's Word does what it says.

*"I know these texts say Christ died for all, the ungodly, false teachers, the world, etc., but they cannot mean that, because if He died for everyone, no one would be in hell. That just doesn't make sense."

Lutheran Response: God's Word of forgiveness still stands even when others reject it. When a slave rejected the Thirteenth Amendment, the objective fact is that that slave had still been freed from his slavery. The slave chose to reject the Thirteenth Amendment and stay in his slavery. God's Word of reconciliation and forgiveness is for all. It does not depend upon our faith. God has reconciled the world to Himself. We tell the world that Good News. God's Word does what it says.

And of course I could give several other examples. But what we notice here--take careful notice--is that the Lutheran approach to God's Word is a very *objective* approach. It does not turn a person inward, or toward their own faith, or toward their own efforts. Instead, it takes God at His Word.

Do I not feel saved today?

God's Word says I am forgiven. God attached His Word to the Waters of Holy Baptism. I am baptized in His Triune Name. I am saved. Why?

Because He said so.

God's Word does what it says.

Have I had a rotten week, committing terrible sins that I could have never imagined?

God longs to meet with us in the Divine Service, coming to us and graciously forgiving our sins in Word and Sacrament.

"This is My Body, given for you for the forgiveness of sins."

God's Word does what it says.

The minister declares upon my confession, in Christ's stead, my sins are forgiven.

God's Word does what it says.

Now I simply rest, receive, and take Him at His Word, like a little child.


Your sins are forgiven.

God's Word always does what it says.