To rightly distinguish Law and Gospel is the most difficult and highest Christian art - and for the theologians in particular. It is taught only by the Holy Spirit in combination with experience.
Well Walther makes the difference between Law and Gospel seem easy. Yet in reality it is hard. In the third thesis he lays out many examples. First example? Everyone:
"But in the end, when Christians have learned to apply the proper distinction between Law and Gospel in the real world, they join St John in saying, 'God is greater than my heart. He has rendered a different verdict on people who sin, and that applies to me as well'. Yet how difficult this is to do! Blessed are you if you have learned this difficult art. But even if you have learned it, do not think you are experts at it. You will always be no more than beginners at this art. There will be days when you will not be able to distinguish Law and Gospel. When the Law condemns you, you must immediately grab hold of the Gospel." Walther - P52
Monday, February 14, 2011
Law and Gospel - Thesis III