The Cart Cannot Come Before The Horse And The Gospel Shall Not Come Before The Law (Law & Gospel In Laymen's Terms)

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

The cart cannot come before the horse, it is that simple.  So it is with the Christian Faith.  For example, the Law is to come first and the Gospel comes second.  Justification must also come first followed by Sanctification.  Likewise, repentance first then Faith; Grace first then Good Works.  

A lot of heresy and much spiritual abuse has occurred throughout the ages by ministers and church bodies confusing the order of the items mentioned above.  For example, if one places Sanctification before Justification it inevitably leads to a person believing that their Justification is a result of their Sanctification, that they are declared right before God because of their right living.  

Take another example from Jesus.  He says that He is the Vine and we are the Branches.  When we abide in Him and Him in us, we bring forth much fruit.  It is totally foolish to believe that one can bring forth fruit without being first connected to the vine.  It is also foolish to believe that one needs to bring forth fruit in order to show that they are worthy to be connected to the vine.  It doesn't make sense!  Apart from the vine, fruit is simply not possible!  Fruit doesn't come forth in order that the branch could be validated and grafted into the vine!  Rather, because the branch is connected to the vine, it produces fruit.  Can you imagine a poor branch, not being connected to the vine, trying to independently produce fruit to validate itself?  The poor little branch is attempting to do something that it simply cannot do apart from the vine!  Oh despair and hypocrisy will most certainly come forth in this situation!  

My friends, if you want to sink yourself into Legalism or Antinominism, simply mix the order of Law and Gospel.  Never lose the correct focus and order that the Law first kills and the Gospel then gives life and that the Law first brings forth contrition and the Gospel then grants faith.