LAW, GOSPEL & THE MEANS OF GRACE
I. Thesis VIII
the fourth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is
preached to those who are already in terror on account of their sins or the
Gospel to those who live securely in their sins.” (WPD 101)
A. An introduction (Lesson One, Thesis One)
1. Discussed 6 differences between Law and Gospel.
2. No. 6: Difference re: persons to whom preached.
a. As rule, named last.
b. But no less important.
c. Is of great importance.
d. Gospel: only to “bruised, contrite, miserable sinners" (WPD 101)
e. Law: “to secure sinners.” (WPD 101)
3. 1Ti 1:8-10
B. Is 61: 1-3
1. “day of vengeance” (v.2)
a. Not a day of judgment on men.
b. “to proclaim such a day would not be proclaiming an acceptable year” (WPD 102)
c. Meaning: Son of God to take vengeance on Satan, “who had hurled the human race into misery.” (WPD 102)
C. “[N]ot a drop of evangelical consolation is to be brought to those who are still living securely in their sins.” (WPD 102)
D. Savior’s practice (WPD 102)
1. Lk 7:36-39, 48.
2. Lk 19:1-10.
3. Lk 23:39-43
E. Apostles’ practice (WPD 103)
1. Ac 16:22-31.
2. Faith is accepting the divine mercy, or grace.
F. Walther then discusses Luther’s practice (WPD 104)
1. Spalatin: friend and Ecclesiastical Counselor to Elector of Saxony.
2. Had been party to agreeing to a pastor marrying stepmother of his deceased wife.
3. When truth dawned on him, refused to be comforted – “melancholy”.
4. Luther wrote:
a. Grants that grievous wrong committed.
b. “granted you are to blame” (WPD 105)
c. “are you going to…commit a still more horrible sin against God?” (WPD 105)
d. Walther: a greater sin to despair of God’s mercy.
e. Luther cites comforting passages:
(1) Eze 33:11.
(2) Is 59:1.
(3) Ps 77:(9),10.
(4) Heb 4:15.
f. Walther: common occurrence to be surprised at personal grievous fall, tragedy is refusing to rise again.
g. Luther then advises:
(1) “join our company and associate with us, who are real, great, and hard-boiled sinners” (WPD 106)
(2) must not make Christ seem “paltry and trifling.” (WPD 106)
(3) “He must rather be a Savior and Redeemer from real, great, grievous, and damnable transgressions and iniquities, yea, from the very greatest and most shocking sins; to be brief, from all sins added together in a grand total.” (WPD 106).
h. Walther: “When a person has committed a great sin and is unconcerned about it, he is beyond help. But when he worries about it, his help has already come.” (WPD 107)
G. A real Savior for real sinners.
H. Walther begins 13th Lecture (p. 111)
1. Preacher can not make true Christians by oratory.
2. Only by Word of God in its truth and purity.
3. Preachers, to be effective:
a. Not just to believe things preached himself.
b. Heart must “be full of the truths which he proclaims.” (WPD 112)
c. Must enter pulpit “with the ardent desire to pour out his heart to his hearers.” (WPD 112)
4. But Word does not receive its power and life from preacher’s faith.
5. Jn 6:63.
6. Heb 4:12.
II. 2d part of Thesis: Word not rightly divided if Gospel preached to those living securely in their sins.
A. Just as dangerous as former.
B. Can not prevent secure sinners from coming in and learning the Gospel.
C. Preacher must offer entire comfort of Gospel in such manner that secure sinners realize comfort is not for them.
D. Mt. 7:6.
E. Is 26:10: useless to offer mercy to godless.
F. Pr 27:7.
G. Jesus Christ
1. Never gave secure sinners “drop of comfort” (WPD 115)
2. Called them serpents and a viper’s brood.
3. Revealed their hypocrisy.
4. Fearlessly told the truth.
1. Must do the same.
2. Will feel the enmity of people.
I. Mt 19:16-22.
1. v.16:”Teacher”:Jesus declined the flattery.
2. v.v.18,19:Jesus’ response was “keep the commandments”.
3. v.20:man’s last question.
4. v.21:not one word of comfort.
J. Ac 2:
1. “Accordingly, we may not preach the Gospel, but must preach the Law to secure sinners. We must preach them into hell before we can preach them into heaven. By our preaching our hearers must be brought to the point of death before they can be restored to life by the Gospel.” (WPD 118)
L. Can not prescribe to sinners a certain degree of penitence.
1. God may permit person to obtain faith without passing through great anguish and fear.
2. “but He always compensates for that later.” Lest they fall away. (WPD 119)
3. “It is indeed a common observation that all those who have passed through great and profound sorrow at the beginning have become the best and most stalwart Christians.” (WPD 119)
a. Comment: agree with wording?
b. Comment: does sentence show proper distinction between Law & Gospel?
4. Walther lists Luther, Flacius, John Gerhard.
5. Compare this to “faith” by simple conviction of intellect.
6. Walther presents testimonies from Luther here. (WPD 120-124)
7. Ends 13th lecture.
M. Begins 14th Lecture (WPD 125)
Discusses Union church in
2. Raises up differences between Reformed and Lutheran teaching, e.g.
a. Real presence.
d. Universal grace vs. double predestination.
e. Are at very center of Christianity.