LESSON EIGHT

2009

LAW, GOSPEL & THE MEANS OF GRACE



I.          Thesis X (WPD 210)

  

            In the sixth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the preacher    describes faith in a manner as if the mere inert acceptance of truths, even while a    person is living in mortal sins, renders that person righteous in the sight of God and    saves him; or as if faith makes a person righteous and saves him for the reason that           it produces in him love and reformation of his mode of living. 

  

II.        First part of Thesis

            A.        Occurs chiefly in Roman Church.

            B.        Principal reason Roman Church rejects Martin Luther.

                        1.         Luther taught good works do not save.

                        2.         Luther taught only faith saves, without good works.

                        3.         Rome implies Martin Luther must be a wicked man since:

                                    a.         to get to heaven, man should only believe.

                                    b.         and need not do any good works.

                        4.         Rome's implication is opposite of Martin Luther's teaching.

                        5.         Martin Luther taught:

                                    a.         to be saved, must have faith.

                                    b.         must be a faith that

                                                (1)        produces love spontaneously.

                                                (2)        and is fruitful in good works.

                        6.         Does not mean that faith saves on account of love which springs from it.

                        7.         Saving faith cannot but do good works.

            C.        Genuine faith:

                        1.         Needs no exhortation to do good works.

                        2.         Does them automatically.

                        3.         Works not done from sense of duty.

            D.        Rome imagines person could have saving faith and "live in mortal sin". (WPD                                211)

                        1.         Teaches that faith is a conviction that the teaching of their Church is right.

                        2.         That conviction is true faith, but purgatory awaits.

            E.         Gal 5:6.

                        1.         Inefficiency of faith failing to work  by love not due to lack of love.

                        2.         It is not "real, honest faith" (WPD 211)

                        3.         Love not added to faith.

                        4.         Love grows out of faith.

            F.         Ac 15:9.

                        1.         Can regard Lutheran teachings as true.

                        2.         But if still have love of sin, acting contrary to your conscience, is a sham                                        faith.

            G.        Jn 5:44

                        1.         Verdict on men who seek honor of men.

                        2.         They have no faith.

                        3.         One of fruits of faith is gives all honor to God alone.

                        4.         This vice requires Holy Spirit.

                        5.         "an evil root" remains in us.

                        6.         Seeking honor of men incompatible with believing.

            H.        1Jn 5:4

                        1.         No faith: still loves the world and seeks his heart's satisfaction in world's                                        vanity.

                        2.         Faith overcomes world.

            I.          Jas 2:1

                        1.         See others in their relation to God.

                        2.         Not in relation to things of this world.

            J.          Treating faith as inert mental act which can co-exist with mortal sin.

                        1.         Is to treat faith as a work of man.

                        2.         Also, is to treat it as something man can preserve in himself.

                        3.         Council of Trent: taught that salvation may be forfeited while faith is not                                       lost.    

                        4.         But, "wicked man cannot truly believe". (WPD 213)

                        5.         "Lutheran Church points to the true source from which good works must                                        spring."  (WPD 213)

            K.        Calvinists fall into same error "from another angle" (WPD 214)

                        1.         Quotes from Decrees of the Synod of Dort (WPD 214)

                                    a.         Heinous sins (e.g. David and Peter) "interrupt the exercise of faith"                                                 (quoted WPD 214)    

                                    b.         Note: not faith itself.

                                    c.         they lose "the consciousness of their faith" (WPD 214)

                                    d.         God does not take away Spirit that they lapse to point where they                                                   fall from state of grace.          

                                    e.         "they do not entirely fall from faith" (quoted WPD 215)

                        2.         They cite 1Jn 3:9.

                                    a.         Does not mean cannot lose the seed.

                                    b.         Means that while seed in them, keeps them from living in mortal                                                     sin.

                        3.         Horrible doctrine: teaches that believers will not worry about repenting                                           when they have "committed such crimes as adultery and murder" (WPD                                         215)

            L.         Lutheran teachings

                        1.         S.A., III, III, 42-45 (Tappert, p. 309f; Kolb and Wengert, p. 318f;                                                  Triglotta, p. 491)

                        2.         "Had [David] died in those days [when he fell], he would have gone to                                          perdition." (WPD 216)

                        3.         "The light of faith can be extinguished not only by gross sins, but by any                                        willful, intentional sin." (WPD 216)

                        4.         Therefore, this type of fall "occurs far oftener than we imagine." (WPD                                          216)

                        5.         Faith is recovered with repentance.

            M.        Luther:

                        1.         "where there is not a good conscience, there is no faith and no holiness."                                         (quoted, WPD 217)

                        2.         "yet the justified do not rest their confidence on their own worthiness or                                        good conscience, but on Christ." (quoted, WPD pp 217-218)

            N.        1Jn 3:(19)-24

                        1.         We are still sinners.

                        2.         But the "inborn depravity, evil propensities", which are "great sins" and                                          far from "conscious and intentional" sins which cannot coexist with                                                holiness (WPD 218)

            O.        1Jn 3:7-10.

            P.         Eze 33:13-16.

            Q.        "Faith and good conscience must be companions." (WPD 221)

                        1.         Warning re: state of security because predestinated.

                        2.         May return to faith and be saved if faith lost through some "mortal" sin.                                         (WPD 221)

            R.        Ends 20th Lecture.

 

III.       Second part of Thesis

            A.        Begins 21st lecture discussing other religions' claim re: salvation based on good                             works.

            B.        Scripture teaches: (WPD 223)

                        1.         No genuine faith without love, without good works.

                        2.         But also that renewal of heart, love and good works produced by faith are                                                 not the justifying element in a person's faith.

                        3.         Ro 4:16.

                                    a.         Righteousness by faith taught because justified by grace.

                                    b.         Justification by grace, through faith, not due to "good qualities                                                        inherent in faith."

                                    c.         We do nothing towards our salvation.

                                    d.         Christ alone.

                        4.         Php 3:8,9

                                    a.         he is righteous.

                                    b.         but it is of Christ.

                                    c.         "an alien righteousness" (WPD 224)

                        5.         Ro 4:5.

                        6.         Eph 2:8,9.

                        7.         Ro 11:6.

                        8.         Why "Luther says that the Christian religion is, in a word, a religion of                                            gratitude." (WPD 225)

            C.        Real good works.

                        1.         "works to which gratitude toward God prompts us." (WPD 226)

                        2.         Objection is raised that in sanctification a person surely doing something                                        himself.

                        3.         But, a person never begins a good work of his own accord.

                        4.         God works the will, desire to do good work.

                        5.         Good works are the "power and operation of God in them." (WPD 226)

            D.        Rome teaches love must be added to faith.

                        1.         No matter how good his faith is.

                        2.         Also assert faith made precious through addition of love.

            E.         We too distinguish between "spurious and genuine faith." (WPD 229)

            F.         Rome's teaching denies the Gospel.

            G.        Ends 21st lecture again discussing papist error.

            H.        Begins 22nd lecture.

                        1.         Discusses "vulgar rationalists" of his time (WPD 234)

                        2.         "Modern theologians" assert can "prove as absolute truth what the common                                    people merely believe." (WPD 235)

                        3.         They have no fear of the Lord.

                        4.         Ps 119-120.

                        5.         Science on the throne.

                                   

 

 

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