LAW, GOSPEL & THE MEANS OF GRACE
I. Theses VI
the second place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is not
preached in its full sternness and the Gospel not in its full sweetness, when,
on the contrary, Gospel elements are mingled with the Law and Law elements with
the Gospel (WPD 79)
A. Commingling can occur both directions.
B. Law: Gospel not to be mingled into
1. Gal 3:11,12
a. Law can not make righteous.
b. Saving faith only found in Gospel.
c. Law says nothing re: grace
2. Ro 4:16
a. Righteousness of faith so that it may be of grace.
b. “Just that is what faith is–reaching out our hand” (WPD 79)
3. Proclaimed with “nothing pleasant to lost and condemned sinners.” (WPD 80)
4. Mt 5:17-19
a. “Law makes no concessions.” (WPD 80)
b. Only demands.
c. Means “he does not belong in the kingdom of heaven at all.” (WPD 80)
5. Gal 3:10
a. “Doing your best, only be sincere in your intentions is good enough for God’s demands” is damnable doctrine.
b. “A shameful corruption of the Law.” (WPD 80)
6. Ro 7:14
a. Law directed to spirit in man.
b. i.e. To man’s will, heart and affections.
c. Not just to his body.
a. Should not “rant about abominable vices that may be rampant in the congregation.” (WPD 81)
b. Continued ranting proves useless.
c. Must also tell them that even if they quit the vices, that does not make them Christians.
d. Explain matter “with the utmost composure, but you must state it quite plainly.” (WPD 81)
8. Ro 3:20
a. Law makes no one godly.
b. Those who “hear” it rage against God.
c. Nothing pleasant “at Sinai” (WPD 82)
a. Ex 19:24,25
b. Ten Commandments
c. Ex 20:18,19
d. Demonstrates by the tempest how Law to be preached.
e. When catechizing, must do the same.
(1) No mingling of Gospel elements with Law.
(2) Even children must pass through terror.
a. Harder to convert than person acknowledging his sin.
b. Try to measure by exterior conduct only.
c. Upright conduct is “the sole object of their preaching” (WPD 84)
d. Blame others (e.g. Ac 5:28: “not us, the heathens killed Him”)
e. Today: “It would be too hard if we taught all of Jesus’ commands as actual commands” (see WPD 85)
f. Walther then discusses the supererogatory works per papacy that allow Pope to distribute his indulgences. (WPD 85, 86)
11. False Teachers
a. Jer 23:22.
b. Heb 13:17.
c. Is 66:2.
d. cf Ps 119:129
12. Now in 11th Lecture
II. Thesis VII
the third place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the Gospel is
preached first and then the Law; sanctification first and then justification;
faith first and then repentance; good works first and then grace. (WPD 89)
A. Now discuss:
1. When various doctrines presented in wrong order.
2. e.g. When what should be last presented first.
B. Four types of this perverse sequence possible.
1. Preaching Gospel prior to Law.
a. Easy to do.
b. Historical instances showing entire religious associations addicted to this error, e.g.
(1) Antinomians of Luther’s time.
(2) Moravians of 18th century –preferred to preaching of Law.
c. cf Mk 1:15.
(1) “Repent” = Law.
(2) “Believe the Gospel” = Gospel.
d. cf Ac 20:21.
(1) Repentance, then
e. cf Lk 24:46,47.
(1) Repentance, then
2. Preaching sanctification before justification (WPD 90)
a. Ps 130:4.
(1) Forgiveness, then
(2) “Feared” = “the whole work of sanctification” (WPD 90)
b. Ps 119:32
(1) First comes consolations of God, justification.
(2) Then psalmist expects to “run”.
c. 1Co 1:30 – “true sequence” (WPD 91)
(1) Obtain wisdom i.e. way of salvation.
(2) Righteousness: Obtained through faith.
(4) Now can delight in the Gospel and the Law.
d. Jn 15:5
(1) Grafted into Him: through faith.
(2) Then bear fruit.
e. Ac 15:9
(1) Justified by faith.
(2) The purified, renewed and sanctified by that same faith.
f. Strict separation of justification and sanctification required.
3. Faith preached first and repentance next.
a. Moravians: (Walther calls them “Herrnhuters”) taught: “Faith is the primary affair, after that you must become contrite and repent.” (WPD 92)
b. cf Ac 2:38
(1) First, repentance.
(2) Then, the remission of sins.
c. cf Ac 20:21.
4. Good works preached first and then grace.
a. Eph 2:8-10.
(1) Grace – created anew
(2) Then do good works.
b. Tit 2:11,12.
(1) Grace first.
(2) Then grace begins a work of education upon us.
C. Book of Romans (WPD 93)
1. Chapters 1-3: sharpest preaching of Law.
2. End of Chapter 3 and Chapters 4 & 5: doctrine of justification.
3. Chapter 6: sanctification.
4. Genuine sanctification follows upon justification.
5. Justification comes after repentance.
D. Walther then presents several incorrect sermon outlines.
1. Way of salvation consists of: (1) faith; (2) true repentance.
2. Good works: (1) wherein they consist; (2) must be performed in faith.
3. Re: prayer: (1) true prayer based on certainty of being heard; (2) consists in faith.
4. (1) Promises; (2) Threatenings.
5. True Christianity consists (1) in Christian living, (2) in true faith, (3) in a blessed death.
6. Then discusses Pietists misuse of Beatitudes who claimed first four Beatitudes were stages of order of salvation.
7. Next discusses Luther vs. Antinomians through end of 11th lecture.
1. “The worst fault in modern preaching, my dear friends, is this, that the sermons lack point and purpose….” (WPD 99)
2. Must have a special aim and aim must be the right one.