The Two Subjects On Which We Preach

“These are the two subjects on which we preach. The Law produces thirst; it leads the hearer to hell and slays him. The Gospel, however, refreshes him and leads him to heaven…

law-gospel

The Law tells us what we are to do and charges us with not having done it, no matter how holy we are. Thus the Law makes me uncertain; it chases me about and makes me thirsty…

The Law says: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Its whole urging is directed towards what I am to do. It says: Thou shalt love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not commit adultery, not swear, and not steal. And then it speaks out thus: See that you have lived or are now living according to what I command you to do. When you have reached this point, you will find that you do not love God with your whole heart as you should, and you will be forced to confess: O my God, I have not done what I should; I have not kept the Law, for neither did I love Thee from my heart to-day, nor will I do so to-morrow. I make the same confession year after year, viz., that I have failed to do this or that. There seems to be no end to this confessing of my trespasses. When will there be an end to this? When shall I find rest unto my soul and be fully assured of divine grace?

You will ever be in doubt; to-morrow you will repeat your confession of to-day; the general confession will always apply to you. Now, where will your conscience find rest and a foothold because you assuredly know how God is disposed towards you? Your heart cannot tell you, even though you may be doing good works to the limit of your ability. For the Law remains in force with its injunction: Thou shalt love God and man with your whole heart. You say: I am not doing it. The Law replies: You must do it. Thus the Law puts me in anguish; I have to become thirsty, feel a terror, tremble, and exclaim: How am I to act in order that God may lift up His gracious countenance upon me? I am to obtain the grace of God, but on condition that I keep the Ten Commandments, that I have good works and many merits to show. But that will never happen. I am not keeping the Ten Commandments, therefore no grace is extended to me. The result is that man can find no rest trusting in his good works. He would be glad to have a good conscience. He yearns for a good, cheerful, peaceful conscience and for real comfort. He thirsts for contentment.

That is the thirst of which Jesus speaks. It lasts until Christ comes and asks: Would you like to be at ease? Would you like to have rest and a good conscience? I advise you to come to Me. Dismiss Moses and no longer think of your own works. Distinguish between Me and Moses. From Moses you have the thirst which you are suffering. He has done his part for you; he has discharged his office to you; he has put you in anguish and made you thirsty. Now try Me; come to Me; believe in Me; listen to My teaching. I am a different Teacher: I will give you to drink and refresh you.”

– Martin Luther

Luther Selfie

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Published by

Zachary James Cole

Born in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in Atlanta, GA. Well kinda, in a city NE of Atlanta in Metro Atlanta called Sugar Hill, but everyone close to ITP just says they are from Atlanta. Marine Veteran. Simul Iustus et Peccator. The verse that could best sum my life...Galatians 2:20...I am blown away by the Grace of God. What Jesus did for me just leaves me in awe and in thanksgiving...It was all Him...and the peace that comes with that is liberating...now I am free to lose everything because I have everything in Christ.

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