Excerpt from “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel” by Dr. C.F.W. Walther, Fifth Evening Lecture


“Woe to us if, when about to expound the Gospel, we mingle the Law with it!  That is what we are doing when, in expounding the Gospel, we say more than, “Accept this message!”  Every addition would be Law.  The Gospel demands nothing of us; it only says: “Come, eat and drink.”  What it offers to us is the Great Supper.  Here is where most preachers make their mistake.  They are afraid that by preaching the Gospel too clearly they will be the fault if people lapse into sin.  They imagine that the Gospel is food for the carnal-minded.  True, to many the Gospel becomes a savor of death unto death, but that is not the fault of the Gospel.  That happens only because men do not accept, do not believe, the Gospel.  Faith is not the mere thought “I believe.”  My whole heart must have become seized by the Gospel and have come to rest in it.  When that happens, I am transformed and cannot but love and serve God.  Most urgent admonitions must indeed be administered to men, even after they have become believers, but these admonitions must not be brought into the solemn meeting where God justifies the sinner.  The Law must first discharge its function in order that those who hear it may accept the Gospel with a hungering and thirsting soul and drink their fill of it.  As soon as a person has become a poor sinner, as soon as he is aware of the fact that he cannot be saved by his own effort, even before a spark of love has been kindled in him, Christ says: “There is My man!  Come to Me just as thou art.  I will help thee; I will take from thee the burden that oppresses thee, and what I shall lay on thee is a light burden and an easy yoke.”  The principal think that I have to tell a person when explaining to him how he can become righteous is that I announce to him the free grace of God, concealing nothing, saying none other things to him than what God says in the Gospel.  A hedge must be made around Mount Sinai, but not around Golgotha.  At the latter place all wrath of God has been appeased.”

–  Dr. C.F.W. Walther in “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel

Fifth Evening Lecture, p. 38-39.

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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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