Mixing Law & Gospel (Law & Gospel In Laymen's Terms)

Thesis VI Of Walther's Law and Gospel In Laymen's Terms

It has often been thought that Law and Gospel need to be balanced.  You know, 50% Law and 50% Gospel.  Maybe depending on the crowd you could do a 40/60 ratio or a 60/40 ratio.  However, this could not be further from the case.  It is more like a 100% Law and a 100% Gospel.  The Law needs to be presented in its full sternness.  It is to be unleashed to kill the sinful nature.  No mercy is to be found in the Law!  On the other hand, the Gospel is also to be presented as 100% Gospel.  No conditions, gimmicks nor 'buts.'  All Gospel; all gift!  The full force of the Law is to be thundered from the pulpit, leaving the hearer no room to wiggle.  The Law is like an armored swat team that is in pursuit of the old nature; shoot to kill!  The Gospel is all about an external message, a message of certainty that is proclaimed with boldness and confidence; all is done, all is complete in Jesus.  The Gospel brings Life!  

To mingle Law and Gospel is like blending manure and ice cream together.  The result is... well, disastrous!  Injecting the sweet Gospel into the Law ruins everything!  Injecting the Law into the Gospel ruins everything!  For when one injects Gospel into the Law, the full force of the Law is minimized so that the sinful nature is not killed, but merely threatened.  Furthermore, injecting Law into the Gospel, conditions the Gospel so that Jesus is no longer the sole author of salvation and the old nature can then participate in redemption.  

Hey, if you want to have an easy ministry my friends, do just this...  weaken the Law by mingling Gospel with it and condition the Gospel by mingling the Law with it.  The old sinful nature loves this!  Weakened Law and Conditioned Gospel means that the sinful nature has room to play!  Relief, not killed by the Law!  Giddy, free to participate with the Gospel!  Yes, the Old Adam Lives!

A true minister and teacher of the Word will preach and teach the full force of the Law first, for that exposes the Old Adam.  Preaching the Law first then allows the Gospel to come in second to absolve, give life and wash away the old.  Pretty simple to understand!  Moses came before Christ, John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ and the Law is to be proclaimed before the Gospel.  Can the Gospel ever be sweet without the proclamation of the Law first? 

The Letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  

Blog Posting for 11-23-11


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