Jean’s Gospel: A Higher Righteousness

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2 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean,
    What is our present day relationship to the law?

  2. Jean says:

    Hi MLD,

    That’s a good question. We “uphold” the law.

    That means two things: (1) we make no attempt to domesticate the law into something achievable. That would be antinomian. So we affirm the law in its full severity, even the parts that accuse me daily. (2) We uphold the law by not imagining that what I do makes no difference because I am saved by grace. That also would be antinomian.

    We exercise our self in the law for the benefit of our neighbors. This also prevents us from concocting good works out of our imagination. We recognize God’s good and perfect will for our lives in the law.

    But most importantly, we confess and believe that we are justified by God apart from the law, through faith in Christ who fulfilled the law for us.

    Luther sums up our current relationship to the law in the 26th thesis of his Heidelberg Disputation: “The law says, do this, and it is never done. Grace says, believe in this, and everything is already done.” I love that quote.

    One other piece of pastoral advice from Luther:

    He said that a Christian should never discuss his sins with the Accuser. Discuss your sins with Christ, who forgives them. With the Accuser, discuss Christ, who came to save sinners. That will shut down the accusations in a hurry.

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