the proper distinction between law and gospel by cfw walther n.
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The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel by CFW Walther. ~ The Tenth ~ Evening Lecture. Review: . Thesis V said that the most easily recognized confounding of Law and Gospel is when Christ is viewed as a new _________. What does the word “Gospel” mean literally?

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review
Review:
  • Thesis V said that the most easily recognized confounding of Law and Gospel is when Christ is viewed as a new _________.
  • What does the word “Gospel” mean literally?
  • Why would that be inappropriate if Christ came merely as a moralizing example?
  • “Jesus did not come to show us the way to heaven. He came to _________________________.”
slide3

1. Walther had his flaws. He sometimes spoke in ways that were open to easy misinterpretation. We should also remember that he did not write “Law and Gospel” himself – his lectures were taken down by students. What statements on page 77 could easily be misinterpreted?

  • “…They were lost forever. Why was this? They were not in earnest.”
  • “True, God is so patient, kind, and gracious as to forgive Christians their sins of weakness and frailties daily and richly. But He does this only to those who are really in earnest.”
  • Makes it sound like salvation is dependant not on God’s grace, but how earnest we are!
  • Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.
2 every christian should be in earnest about his faith but who especially pg 77 bottom
2. Every Christian should be ‘in earnest’ about his faith. But who especially?(pg 77 bottom)
  • “Asituation similar to this obtains when a person resolves to become a servant of Christ, a minister of the Church.”
  • A pastor should say, “My dear Lord Jesus, Thou art mine; therefore, I wish to be Thine. All that I possess, my body and my soul, my strength and my gifts, and all that I do, my entire life, shall be consecrated to Thee.”
  • Tall order!
3 what is the pastor s chief task pg 78 bottom
3. What is the pastor’s chief task? (pg 78 bottom)
  • “…to proclaim to a world of sinners both Law and Gospel.”
thesis v i
Thesis VI
  • In 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.
4 according to romans 4 16 about which subject does the law have absolutely nothing to say pg 79
4. According to Romans 4:16, about which subject does the Law have absolutely nothing to say? (pg 79)
  • Gal. 3, 11, 13: But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith. And the Law is not of faith; but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
  • “…it has not a word to say about justifying and saving faith.”
slide8

5. Walther says that faith and grace are really just the same thing, because faith is not a good work. It simply like reaching out _________. (pg 79)

  • “…reaching out the hand.”
  • Nothing is demanded of the person; he is only told: “Stretch out your hand, and you have it.”
slide9
6. Sweetening the Law won’t work. The Law must be proclaimed so that there remains in it nothing ___________. (pg 80)
  • “…nothing pleasant .”
  • Every sweet ingredient injected into the Law is poison; it renders this heavenly medicine ineffective, neutralizes its operation.
7 did jesus come to destroy the law what did he say in matthew 5 17 19 pg 80
7. Did Jesus come to destroy the Law? What did He say in Matthew 5:17-19? (pg 80)
  • “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
  • “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.”
  • People cannot fulfill the Law – period! Only Jesus can do and has done that!
slide11

8. Many church leaders say, “Try your best to serve God; be sincere and the Lord will accept you.” What kind of doctrine does Walther call that? (pg )

  • “…a damnable doctrine; for that is a shameful corruption of the Law. God never spoke like that from Sinai.”
slide12
9. Using the Law merely to stop sinful actions isn’t enough. For what is God most concerned about?(pg 81 middle)
  • “Even if you were to quit your habitual cursing, swearing, and the like, that would not make you Christians. You might go to perdition for all that. God is concerned about the attitude of your heart.”
10 when the law is preached effectively it is like what kind of tool pg 81
10. When the Law is preached effectively, it is like what kind of tool? (pg 81)
  • A sharp knife!
  • “You will be handling a sharp knife that cuts into the life of people.”
11 according to romans 3 20 what is the law for what is it not for pg 81
11. According to Romans 3:20 what is the Law for? What is it not for? (pg 81)
  • By the Law is the knowledge of sin.
  • “God does not tell you to preach the Law in order thereby to make men godly. The Law makes no one godly.”
12 how do people often react to the preaching of the law and preachers of the law pg 82
12. How do people often react to the preaching of the Law (and preachers of the Law)? (pg 82)
  • “The person who is feeling [the Law’s] power begins to fume and rage against God. He hates the preacher who has shouted the Law into his heart!”
13 what was pleasant about the giving of the law on mount sinai pg 82
13. What was pleasant about the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai? (pg 82)
  • Nothing!
  • “…thunder and lightning…a terrible tempest…earthquake…flames of fire…a loud trumpet … But the climax of this terrible phenomenon came when the people heard the voice of Jehovah reciting to them the Ten Commandments with their regular refrain of Thou shalt! Thou shalt! Thou shalt! ”
slide17

14. Every preacher – and every Christian! – must present the Law in all it’s sternness and terror. But what is the object of that presentation? (pg 83)

  • To prepare the ground for the Gospel!
  • “Presently the preacher, with shining eyes, passes over to the Gospel, and then the hearts of the people are cheered. They see the object of the preacher’s preceding remarks: he wanted to make them see how awfully contaminated with sins they were and how sorely they needed the Gospel.”
15 do even children need to hear the unmingled law pg 83
15. Do even children need to hear the unmingled Law? (pg 83)
  • Yes!
  • “The reason why so many imagine that they can pass for really good Christians is because their parents reared them to be self-righteous Pharisees; they never made them aware of the fact that they are poor, miserable sinners. ”
slide19
16. What was one dreadful error of the Pharisees that is still held by the Roman Catholic Church today?(pg 83 middle)
  • That we are only accountable before God for outward sins, not sins of the heart. E.g., that the act of adultery is a sin, but that lust is not.
slide20
17. How did the Jewish leaders accomplish Jesus’ murder while keeping up the pretense that they were innocent of His blood?(pg 84)
  • “…they argued their ceremonial purity and sanctity to the point of refusing to enter the governor’s palace and forcing Pilate against his will to kill Jesus.”
18 how does the roman catholic church act similarly with their doctrine of good counsels pg 85 86
18. How does the Roman Catholic Church act similarly with their doctrine of “good counsels”? (pg 85-86)
  • Luther: “They claim that not all that Christ had taught was of the nature of a command and a necessary requisite [for discipleship], but some of His teachings were meant as a good counsel, the following of which was left to everybody’s discretion. ”
  • “If the question is how to get to heaven, you have to keep the Law. But if your object is to climb to a high place in heaven, you must carry out these counsels.”