LAW, GOSPEL & THE MEANS OF GRACE
I. Introduction (WPD 59)
A. Begins 8th Lecture discussing perspicuity of Scripture.
B. If stick to its words, can prove no error or contradiction in Scripture.
C. With knowledge of the language, can find meaning.
D. But without Holy Spirit, can not understand unto salvation.
E. 1Co 1:23.
F. 1Co 2:14.
G. Primary prerequisite for salutary knowledge is correct understanding of distinction between L & G.
II. Thesis IV (WPD 60)
true knowledge of the distinction between the Law and Gospel is not only a
glorious light, affording the correct understanding of the entire Holy
Scriptures, but without this knowledge Scripture is and remains a sealed book.
A. Without this knowledge, Bible seems full of contradictions.
B. History of church illustrates the importance.
1. Up until 6th century, “glorious testimonies exhibiting this distinction” (WPD 62)
2. Then on, “distinction is gradually forgotten” (WPD 62)
3. Luther: early on did not know distinction.
4. Distinction allowed everything to become clear.
1. Walther cites Apology from Triglotta p. 173 – can not locate adequately in versions used in Tappert & Kolb & Wengert.
a. “‘For rightly to understand the benefit of Christ and the great treasure of the Gospel (which Paul extols so greatly), we must separate as far as the heavens are from the earth the promise of God and the grace that is offered, on the one hand, from the Law, on the other’”. (WPD 64)
b. cf Ap IV, 184 (Tappert, p. 132, Kolb & Wengert, p. 149)
2. F.C., Ep. V 2 (Tappert, p. 478; Kolb & Wengert, p. 500)
4. F,C., S.D. V 27 (Tappert, p. 563; Kolb & Wengert p. 586)
1. Not abolished.
2. Remains in force.
3. We are on right way moment we are convinced we are ungodly (WPD 65)
1. “not based on knowledge” (NIV)
2. Paul allowed law to remain in place.
3. Did not understand “righteousness that comes from God” (NIV)
F. Concludes with discussion re: papacy.
III. Thesis V (WPD 69)
first manner of confounding Law and Gospel is the one most easily recognized –
and the grossest. It is adopted, for
instance, by Papists, Socinians, and Rationalists and consists in this, that
Christ is represented as a new Moses, or Lawgiver, and the Gospel turned into a
doctrine of meritorious works, while at the same time those who teach the Gospel
is the message of the free grace of God in Christ are condemned and
anathematized, as is done by the papists.
A. Walther starts with Council of Trent.
1. Opened two months before Luther’s death.
2. 4th session, preamble to decree:
“…the purity of the Gospel, viz.,…commanded to be preached to all…, both as the source of all saving truth and a moral norm.” (italics in Walther’s quote, WPD 69)
a. Does not “sound awful” (WPD 69)
b. The way papacy interprets Mk 16:15.
c. At best, makes Gospel “a law such as Moses proclaimed.” (WPD 69)
d. Make commandments of church more important than 10 Commandments.
3. Canon 21:
“If any one says that Christ Jesus has been given by God to men that He should be their Redeemer, in whom they are to trust, and not also their Lawgiver, whom they are to obey, let him be anathema.” (quoted, WPD 70)
a. We could not even keep Moses “so perfect a Law” (WPD 70)
b. If Christ’s teaching is only additional law, despair only possible result.
4. Word “Gospel” (euaggelion)
a. “a glad tiding”.
b. not “a sad tiding” (WPD 70)
B. Ge 3:15
1. Redeemer not coming to tell us what to do.
2. He will come to destroy kingdom of devil.
3. He will come to do all required of us to get to heaven.
4. All we must do is appropriate this to ourselves – “Believe”,
C. Jer 31:31-34
1. A “new covenant”.
Not like one established on
3. He will write His Law directly into the heart.
4. Person “living under Him is a law unto himself”. (WPD 71)
5. Not “coerced by a force from without” (WPD 71)
6. Urged from within.
7. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (WPD 71)
a. State reason for preceding statement.
b. A summary of Gospel of Christ.
8 Making Him new Lawgiver “cancels the entire Christian religion” (WPD 71)
D. Entire life of Christ – surrounded by sinners.
1. Law over against grace and truth.
2. “Christ actually brought what was typified in the Old Testament.” (WPD 73)
F. Jn 3:17
1. Coming to bring “new law” barred here.
2. If had been, would’ve come to judge.
G. Ro 1:16,17.
H. 1Ti 1:15.
1. Did not abrogate Law of Moses.
2. Neither did he publish new law.
3. Only “opened up the spiritual meaning of the Law” (WPD 74)
J. 6th session of Council of Trent.
“If any one says…that a justified person does not, by reason of the good works which are done by him through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ…truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and the actual obtainment of eternal life, provided he dies in grace,–let him be accursed.” (quoted, WPD 74)
1. Actually curse the Gospel.
2. Walther focuses on the “papistic Church” (WPD 75)
3. Papists raise up Mt 11:28-30.
a. Contend that cross-bearing is more grievous than Law of Moses.
b. What Christ is really saying that their elders were teaching them that keep the Law when refrain from gross acts prohibited by law.
c. Christ then expounds true meaning of Law.
d. cf Ro 5:3(4,5).
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