Great article in the newest edition of Issues, etc...


Super Member
The first article is about how comforting is seeing Law and Gospel from a Lutheran perspective. Not many church ministers preach as we preach. God comes to us by word and Sacrament, though they are actually both the word of God. Here is an excerpt:

The second way (chronologically at least) that the Word of God brings the Gospel to people is through preaching. Lifelong Lutherans like myself are often surprised to learn that Lutheran preaching is different from Evangelical, Roman Catholic, other kinds of Christian preaching. Lifelong Lutherans may assume that other Christians are hearing the same kind of preaching they hear: the Scriptural proclamation of God’s Word of Law and Gospel. But the fact is, you won’t often hear that kind of preaching —Lutheran preaching— outside Lutheran churches. The nineteenth century Lutheran theologian, C.F.W. Walther observed, "The true knowledge of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is not only a glorious light, affording the correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, but without this knowledge Scripture is and remains a sealed book. "(C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, Thesis IV)

Think of Law and Gospel as God’s native tongue, God’s language. When God speaks, he speaks the language of Law and Gospel. Lutheran preaching distinguishes between, but never separates, God’s Word of Law and God’s Word of Gospel. Think of Law and Gospel as God’s native tongue, God’s language. God’s Law shows us God’s will regarding how we ought to think, speak and behave. God accomplishes three things by speaking His Law to us. First, He keeps the worst of our sinful impulses in check. Second and most importantly, He shows us how we have personally violated His will in thought, word and deed. And third, He teaches and guides our thoughts, words and deeds according to His will.

The next part is where the author really brings it home:

God’s Word of Gospel is the message that all our sins have been paid for by Jesus in His life death and resurrection. God accomplishes two things by speaking His Gospel to us. First and most importantly, He forgives us. He delivers the forgiveness won at the Cross to us personally. Second, He makes us a new creation. God actually produces in us a new way of thinking, speaking and acting that conforms to His will.

This is how we obey God and do His will--and it is ALL God's doing! That is fine with me. :) I would botch the job, if I had tried to do this on my own!

It is important to say that Lutherans distinguish between God’s Word of Law and God’s Word of Gospel. Lutherans do not separate Law from Gospel. Lutherans do not pit the two against each other. Remember, it’s Law AND Gospel, not Law OR Gospel. By His Law and Gospel, God continually calls us to repentance, grants us forgiveness, teaches us His will and produces that will in our thoughts, words and deeds. The end result is a life lived in the confidence of sins forgiven and the freedom to live according to God’s will.

It is vitally important to understand this last bit that I highlighted--especially where he says that God "teaches us His will and PRODUCES THAT WILL IN THOUGHS, WORDS, AND DEEDS." AMEN! Again, all God's doing and none of our own.