What We Value

by Caleb Bassett

It is hard to imagine a person who lives without a concept of value. We all know what has value and what does not. It can be as simple as judging how much an item at the store is worth or as complex as deciding on a rewarding career opportunity. More specifically, we know what has value for us and what does not.

What we consider important shapes our priorities. The things we consider most important tend to take precedence over the things that we do not value as much. Often times we consider a great deal of things important and must divide our time among them as best we can. But are there some things that ought to be valued more highly than others? The two translations presented to you in this issue of Studium talk about what we should value.

The first selection is an introduction to a new year of Gemiende-Blatt. In it the author explores the varying opinions about what is important and valuable for a church paper (or magazine as we would call it today) to cover. The author seeks to persuade the varying opinions of the paper’s readers to one common value: That edifying gospel proclamation be the primary focus of the Wisconsin Synod paper.

In the second selection we learn of the chief doctrine of the Christian Church that is to be treasured by all Christians. Through recounting the words and teaching of C.F.W. Walther, Franz Pieper points us to justification as the one teaching that is of supreme value for all of us. Pieper shows the various comforts that the gospel of justification brings each and every one of us. Some are uniquely comforting for pastors and students studying for the pastoral ministry. They are very much worth reading.

Although these words were written many decades ago they speak well to us today. The situations and problems of the past are not entirely dissimilar from ours today. Just the same, the blessings and comfort found in the timeless Word of God are just as relevant today for us as they were for our forefathers. It is hoped that the selections published in this journal may further inform you, our reader, about what is valuable for the Christian.

Once we have a firm grasp on what is important and valuable it is only natural to assume that our priorities will change to match our values. If we value justification and the gospel, we will place the study of God’s word on the top of our to-do list. If we seek to edify we will concentrate on the Word and not on “shaking and arousing the spirit” which does not edify.

Finally, we can rejoice in the fact that God took mercy on us and sent his Son, whom he loved, to accomplish our salvation by his perfect life, innocent suffering, death and resurrection. He now bestows on us the valuable gift of freedom from sin, death, and the devil.