1.The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel by CFW Walther
~ The Fourth ~
2.How is the person who has heard the Law like a thirsty man?
What must a Christian first experience before he can properly present Law and Gospel to others?
Does someone who is already a believer need the Law? Why or why not?
3.“That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime. Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God . They are regarded as men worthy of contempt.”
1. True peace in the church can only come through doctrinal unity. Ironically, how are those who insist on maintaining in its purity every doctrine of the Bible often viewed? (pg 28)
4.“…had Athanasius yielded, the Church would have been hurled from the one Rock on which it is founded, which is none other than Jesus Christ.”
2. Athanasius (AD 296-373) was was a teacher in the early church who insisted to Christ was God from all eternity. What would have happened had Athanasius compromised on the deity of Christ? (pg 29)
5.“…had Augustine yielded, the Church would have lost the core of the Gospel. There would have been nothing left of it but the empty, hollow shell. ”
3. Augustine was a theologian in the middle ages who insisted on the natural depravity of man, and natural man's inability to "choose God." What would have happened if Augustine had compromised with the collegians, who said that man cooperates in his own conversion? (pg 29)
6.“…the Church would have become a prey to rationalism, which places man’s reason above the plain Word of God.”
4. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was a theologian of Luther’s time who taught, among other things, that the body and blood of Christ could not really be present in the Lord’s Supper, because that doesn’t make sense to human reason. What would the church have “become a prey to,” if Luther had compromised with Zwingli on the on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper? (pg 29)
7.Only he is an orthodox teacher who not only presents all the articles of faith in accordance with Scripture, but also rightly distinguished from each other the Law and the Gospel.
8.“…that he must present all the articles of faith in accordance with Scripture.”
5. The word orthodox means “right-teaching.” According to Thesis II, what is “the first requisite of an orthodox teacher”? (pg 30)
9.“I have found the truth; I am certain concerning every doctrine of revelation.” Such a claim is considered a piece of arrogance.
6. Even among believers, many people will be shocked if they hear you say what? (pg 30)
10.: “I could take an oath upon it that I have rightly preached the Word of God.”
7. What should every preacher be able to say when he finishes his sermon and comes down from the pulpit? What should every Christians witness be able to say when he finishes presenting the Word to a friend? (pg 31)
11.“Our sermons, then, are to contain only wheat and no chaff.”
8. In Jeremiah 23:28, the Lord says “He who has my words, let him speak my word faithfully." What alone are Christians sermons to contain? (pg 31)
12.“He means to say: A single false teaching vitiates [renders useless] the entire doctrine.”
9. In Galatians 5:9, the apostle Paul says "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." What does that mean? (pg 31)
13.“Still, his entire sermon may have been wrong. …The value of a sermon depends not only on this, that every statement in it be taken from the Word of God and be in agreement with the same, but also on this, whether Law and Gospel have been rightly divided.”
10. What if a preacher can truthfully say, “There was no false teaching in my sermon?" does that mean the sermon was a good one? (pg 31)
14.“Of the same building materials furnished two architects one will construct a magnificent building, while the other, using the same materials, makes a botch of of it... The one house will be out of plumb and such a bungling piece of work that it will collapse while the other stands firm and is a habitable and pleasant abode. In like manner…one sermon may be a glorious and precious piece of work, while the other is wrong throughout.”
11. How does Walther say that preachers are like architects? And what does Law and Gospel have to do with it? (pg 32)
15.There are found in them comforting remarks like these: “It is all by grace,” and then we are told: “We must do good works,” and then again: “With our works we cannot gain salvation.” There is no order in a sermon of this kind; nobody understands it, least of all the person who needs it most.
12. What mistake did Walther often observe in the sermons of inexperienced students? (pg 32)
16.Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Christians are rightly to apply Law and Gospel just as does “… the head of a family when he apportions food and drink to the members of his household.”
13. According to 2 Timothy 2:15, what is one of the primary duties of every Christian witness? (pg 32)
17.“Who, then, is that faithful and wise steward whom his lord shall make ruler over his household to give them their portion of meat in due season?”
14. According to Luke 12:42, who is to be considered a faithful steward of God's word? (pg 33)
18.He must give to each the right quantity... When children are at the table with adults, he would be foolish to set meat and wine before children and milk and light food before adults. But how difficult it is to perceive that these very mistakes are often made in sermons! A preacher must not throw all doctrines in a jumble.
15. How is apportioning Law and Gospel like apportioning food at a dinner? (pg 33)
19.“He must see to it that secure, care-free, and willful sinners hear the thunderings of the Law, contrite sinners, however, the sweet voice of the Savior’s grace.”
16. What must secure sinners hear? Contrite sinners? (pg 33)
20.Ezekiel 13: “With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad and strengthened the hands of the wicked that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.”
17. What does God's word say in Ezekiel about preachers who "furnish soft pillows" for secure sinners, when what they need to hear is the Law? (pg 34)
21.“An even more horrible situation is created if the pastor is a legalistic teacher, who refuses to preach the Gospel to his congregation because he says: “These people will misuse it anyway.””
18. On the other hand, what is even more horrible than preaching comforting Gospel to secure sinners? (pg 34)
22.“Even nature teaches that certain materials must not be mixed if they are to retain their salutary virtue. There are certain substances that are, by themselves, salutary; but when they are mixed, they are turned into poison. That is what happens when Law and Gospel are mingled. ”
19. What does even nature demonstrate about mixing certain materials? (pg 34-35)
23.“Where this is not done, neither the Law nor the Gospel can be understood, and the consciences of men must perish with blindness and error.”
20. Luther actually wrote a whole sermon on the distinction between Law and Gospel. What did Luther say is the inevitable result when these two doctrines are not properly distinguished? (pg 35)
24.“This knowledge must be reinforced by experience. Not until that is done, will a person understand that the distinction between these two doctrines is a glorious one.”
21. Just being aware that Law and Gospel must be distinguished from one another is not enough. This knowledge must be reinforced by what? (pg 35)