Archive for June 30th, 2016

Martin Luther:  

“The devil makes a law of the Gospel.  The teachings of Law and Gospel are very necessary and are to be brought together, but with discrimination, lest men either despair or become complacent.”(emphasis added)*

The blessed Reformers are right:  we must distinguish between Law and Gospel.  The Law shows us our sin and the Gospel forever shows us our Savior.  Through the Law the Lord sees through us and in the Gospel the Lord sees us through.  When we confuse the two, making a law of the Gospel, we are back to saving ourselves…or we just don’t care anymore:  despairing or complacent.  Most of evangelicalism, liberalist Christianity, Roman Catholicism, eastern Orthodoxy are the utter confusion of the two.  People despair.  Or the secularist and functional atheists say there is no Law from God which is preeminent is tossed out of court. The result is utter complacency and navel gazing.  The devil lusts for both desperation and complacency. He wants to drive us into ourselves and melancholy/depression.  We may be living in the most desperate time and the most complacent time simultaneously.  We are a bipolar people. Either way,desperation and/or complacency,  as Luther wrote to a depressed Jerome Weller, tutor to his children for 8 years,  in 1530:

“When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus:

‘I admit that I deserve death and hell.  What of it?  Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation.  By no means.  For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf.  His name is Jesus Christ, the Son God.  Where He is, there I shall be also.”*

*The first quote is cited by Theodore Tappert in a footnote to the 1530 letter of counsel from Dr. Luther to Mr. Jerome Weller. The second quote is Luther’s conclusion from the same letter.

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