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 Ninth ~ Evening Lecture. Review: . Without a proper understanding of the distinction between Law and Gospel, the Bible is a ___________ book.

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  • Without a proper understanding of the distinction between Law and Gospel, the Bible is a ___________ book.
  • Between about the ___ century and the Reformation, the understanding of Law and Gospel was lost.
  • Walther says that this distinction is “a _________ that must be carefully guarded, lest it go out again.”

1. In Walther’s time (late 1880’s) the world’s population was 1.4 billion, with one-third of them Christians. Can you guess what the comparative numbers are today?

  • World population is 6.8 billion. About 30% are Christian, 22% Muslim, 18% atheist, 14% Hindu, 7% Buddhist, 9% other religions.
  • There are 104 million Lutherans worldwide (1.5% of world population, 5% of Christians).
  • At 234,000, the US has the largest population of Christians in the world.
  • Sweden, whose official state religion is Lutheranism, has one of the highest percentages of atheists in the world (46%), second only to Japan (estimated as high as 75% atheist).

2. What teaching, grounded thoroughly in the Bible and the Lutheran confessions, does a majority of “Lutherans” nevertheless refuse to believe? (pg 67)

  • “The majority of those who claim to be Lutherans refuse to believe that the Pope is the Antichrist and the Papacy the antichristian power.”
  • It is “…at best, regarded as an odd fancy of narrow-minded men, who refuse to keep step with the times.”
3 of what is the pope the outspoken enemy pg 69 top
3. Of what is the Pope the “outspoken enemy”? (pg 69 top )
  • “I find that the Pope is the only one in the entire Christian Church who is an outspoken enemy of the free grace of God in Christ, an enemy of the Gospel under the guise of the Christian religion and aping its institutions.”
thesis v
Thesis V
  • The 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 that the Gospel is the message of the free grace of God in Christ are condemned and anathematized, as is done by the papists.

4. In 1545, the Catholics met at the Council of Trent to formulate a response to the Reformation (the documents published as a result of Trent, by the way, still stand as official Catholic doctrine). How do they describe the Gospel already in their preamble? Not only as “the source of all saving truth,” but as what? (pg 69 bottom)

  • As a “moral norm”
  • They speak “…of the Gospel as containing the doctrines of salvation. However, they add immediately that the Gospel also prescribes morals. “

5. The word “anathema” means to be damned, to be eternally condemned by God. Whom does Canon 21 of the Councils of Trent thus condemn? “Anyone who says…” (pg 70)

  • “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.”
  • This decree overthrows the Christian religion completely.

6. The word “Gospel” is in Greek εὐαγγέλιον, “the glad tidings,” or “the Good News”. How does Catholic teaching contradict this? (pg 70 middle)

  • “If the teaching of Christ were a law, it would not be an εὐαγγέλιον, a glad tiding, but a sad tiding!”

7. Already in the Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:15, God promised that the “Seed of the woman” (Christ) would “crush the head of the serpent.” What did that mean? (pg 70)

  • “that means nothing else than this, that He shall destroy the kingdom of the devil.”
8. God didn’t promise a Messiah who would tell us what to do to be saved. What did He promise?(pg 71 top)
  • He will “… not only tell us what we must do to get to heaven. No, the Messiah will do all Himself to bring us there.”
9 if christ did all this what is left for me to do pg 71 top
9. If Christ did all this, what is left for me to do? (pg 71 top)
  • “If the devil’s dominion is demolished, I am free. There is nothing for me to do but to appropriate this to myself. That is what Scripture means when it says, ‘Believe.’ That means, Claim as your own what Christ has acquired.”

10. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God promises a new covenant, different from the covenant of the Law. When the Catholic Church claims that Christ has come to be a “new Lawgiver,” it in effect does what? (pg 71 bottom)

  • “… cancels the entire Christian religion!”
11. Why is that? What do all other religions say about salvation? What does the Christian faith say? (pg 71-72)
  • “All other religions say to man: ‘You must become just so and so and do such and such works if you wish to go to heaven.’”
  • the Christian religion says: “You are a lost and condemned sinner; you cannot be your own Savior. But do not despair on that account. There is One who has acquired salvation for you. Christ has opened the portals to heaven to you and says to you: Come, for all things are ready. Come to the marriage of the Lamb.”

12. If Christ came to give us morals to live by, you’d expect Him to cater to the supreme moralists, the Pharisees. But no, whom did Jesus want around Him? Why? What parables illustrate this? (pg 72)

  • “Yes, I want sinners about Me,” and then He proceeds to prove this by telling the parables of the Lost Sheep…Lost Coin…Prodigal Son.
  • He goes about seeking lost sinners and does not hesitate to tell the proud Pharisees that harlots and publicans will enter the kingdom of heaven rather than they. Thus He shows us quite plainly what His Gospel really is.
13. The Catholic Church says the Gospel tells us what to do. What does the Apostle John say in John 1:17? (pg 73)
  • “The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
14. Christ didn’t come into the world to teach us morals – what did He come to do? Answer from John 3:17 (pg 73)
  • “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
15. Is the great power of the Gospel that it shows us how to live a moral life? Answer from Romans 1:16-17 (pg 73)
  • “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”
16. Again, Christ didn’t come into the world to teach us morals – what did He come to do? Answer from I Timothy 1:15 (pg 73)
  • “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
17 did jesus come to issue new laws answer from matthew 5 17 pg 74 top
17. Did Jesus come to issue new laws? Answer from Matthew 5:17 (pg 74 top)
  • “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
  • “That means that He did not come to issue new laws, but to fulfil the Law for us, so that we may share His fulfillment”
18. What are some categories of people who, according to Catholic teaching, stand eternally damned? Anyone who says… (pg 74 middle)
  • “… that men are made righteous solely through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.”
  • “… that the grace by which we are made righteous is nothing else than the favor of God.”
  • “… that the faith which makes men righteous is nothing else than trust in the divine mercy, which remits sin for Christ’s sake.”
  • “… that a justified person does not, by reason of the good works which are done by him…trulymerit an increase of grace, eternal life, and the actual obtainment of eternal life.”
  • “Let these all be accursed and damned!” say the Catholics.
19. “All sects, by their false teaching, obscure the Gospel,” says Walther. But at least they don’t do what? (pg 74 bottom)
  • “…they do not, as the Pope does, anathematize and curse it.”
  • Other sects “…are corrupted churches, but the Papacy is a false Church. Just as counterfeit money is no money, so the papal Church, being a false Church, is no Church.”

20. Some support their teaching of Christ as New Law-Giver by quoting Matthew 11:30, where Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you.” But what is the “yoke” referred to here? (pg 75 bottom)

  • “The yoke and the burden of which Christ speaks is nothing else than the cross which His followers bear from love of Him.”
  • Luther: “That is what Christ calls a pleasant yoke and a light burden, namely, to bear the cross joyfully, even as Paul did, who says: ‘We glory in tribulations also.’ Rom. 5, 3.”
21 how did the lives of the martyrs show this pg 76 bottom
21. How did the lives of the martyrs show this? (pg 76 bottom)
  • “The examples of the martyrs shows this. They did not go weeping and wailing to their execution, but met their martyr’s fate with joy and exultation. In them the words of Christ were fulfilled: ‘My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.’”