The Office of Holy Ministry

This is a great quote regarding the Office of Holy Ministry from C.F.W. Walther, first president of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

O, glorious office! No matter how sick a person may be in his soul, the Gospel can heal him. No matter how deeply a person has fallen into the corruption of sin, the Gospel can pull him out. No matter how troubled, frightened, and afflicted a person may be, the Gospel can comfort him. Whatever the condition a person finds himself, even if he is convinced that he must perish because of it, the preachers can confidently oppose him, saying: “No, as certainly as God lives, He does not want the death of any sinner. You shall not perish; instead, you shall be saved. Turn to Jesus who can evermore save all who come to God through Him.” And if one who lies near death calls out: “God, what have I done? Woe to me! Not it is too late! I am lost!” the preachers should call to him: “No, no, it is not too late! Commit your departing soul to Jesus. You too shall still be with Him in paradise today.” O, glorious, high office, too high for the angels! May we always hold it in high regard, not looking at the person who bears it and despising his weakness, but looking instead at the Institutor of this office and His exuberant goodness. Let us turn to Him in faith so we can experience the blessings of which the preachers have spoken and, through them, be gathered together one day into the barns of heaven as a completely ripe sheaf.

It is comforting to know that no matter how I mess things up as a pastor, a person’s salvation does not depend on me, the man, but rather the office to which I hold. It is and always must be solely the Gospel that is put forward and never the man. Man is sinful; the Word of God is without sin. Man can err; the Word of God is without error. Let us not focus on the man in the office, but rather what it is that the man preaches; that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

(Quoted from God Grant It, p. 679-680)