This rather large volume is divided into some large sections and then subdivided into numbered chapters. Because of the length I’ll be posting a summary of the small numbered chapters but more frequently than I normally would on any one work. The copy I have is a Kindle book. It does not have actual page numbers.
A word is in order about the date. Pieper wrote in German and the text as we have it is in translation. The German, published by Concordia Publishing House, was originally copyrighted 1917-1924. It is now in public domain. The English translation was published by Concordia in 1950-1953. Concordia Publishing House currently lists the item as a 1968 publication. Amazon lists electronic editions as 2003 and 2011. Maybe someone can explain the 1968 date, but I am unable to do so.
A The Saving Grace of God
Chapter 1 “The Necessity of Grace”
In the Fall all men became sinful. We are, by nature, bound to sin. Yet, Pieper observes, the Gospel is present to declare us righteous and save us. Though God’s Law would condemn us, the Gospel sets us free. This salvation is what Christianity teaches, as opposed to all other religions which base salvation upon man’s works.
What of the means of grace? How do baptism and the Lord’s Supper work in the equation? Pieper asserts these are not man’s work but God’s work. Our faith likewise is no achievement of our own. It is a gift of God and the means by which we receive God’s grace.
A note on the organization - this volume does not have very clear serialization or chapter numbering. In my comments and notes I will try to make the outline clear but it may be confused at times.