Hey! Let me into this Fight!

Get out of my way!  Make some room for me in this rhubarb!

You can’t have a battle of sin, death, and the devil and leave me out of it! I’ve got to get a couple of shots in!

Oh yeah, I’ve heard Luther’s great hymn ‘A Might Fortress is our God’, but sometimes ‘I am the right man on our side.’ Sometimes I do contain within me that spark of righteousness that can make me a better man! Oh I’m not saying that I do it alone. I’m saying that the Holy Spirit, or the law… helps me. Sound familiar?

“If in our own strength confide our striving would be losing, I’m not the right man on our side ‘the law’ of God’s own choosing.”

Did I mess up again? You mean those aren’t Luther’s Words? But Luther said this, and Luther said that, and Luther, Luther, Luther.

I love Luther. Period. Do I believe he was right when we said that we should run the Jews out of town and burn down their synagogues? Do we take to heart every utterance from the mighty Luther’s lips?

Luther was a sinful man, just as we are sinful men and women. The Lord used Luther in a mighty way to uphold the cross of Christ and his sufficiency…ALONE!

Anywhere and any place that the sufficiency of Christ is challenged by either the free will of man, the power of other gods, the helping hand of the law, or any other counterfit method to attain righteousness, we ought to be engaged in lifting high the cross of Christ. Higher and higher. We must increase, He must decrease…right?  Wrong!!!  I was just seeing if you were awake…or if you were a Pelagian sympathizer.

He must increase, I must decrease.”   He has done, is doing, and will yet do everything…for you!

Now isn’t that a relief? No! You mean you really do want back into this fray?

7 Responses

  1. Just beware of the dreaded condition known as “an aversion to sanctification” …. Luther has a lot to say about fine Easter preachers, but poor pentecost preachers.

    As he said, the Law is the dialectic of the Gospel and the Gospel, the rhetoric of the Law.

    [[Dialectic being that which informs and guides understanding, and rhetoric that which gives force, power and ability to do what needs to get done!]]

    Enjoy doing your duty, which is to thank and praise, serve and obey Him! All in Christ.


  2. Rev. McCain,

    I’ll try and be careful. Thanks for the heads-up on that “dreaded condition”.

    In the past it seems that the problems always started for me when I stopped trusting that Christ was the One who was sanctifying me.

    Then I would start to focus on my performance, and then start judging myself against others, etc. etc.

    As I grow in Christ, I’m learning that my sanctification is really just getting used to my justification. (I borrowed that line from the late Dr. Gerhard Forde)

    Nonetheless, I appreciate your view on this, and other controversial topics.

    And blessings to you, Pastor McCain, as well!

    – Steve

  3. Rev. McCain:
    can you explain that a little bit more?
    Why use the words “dialectic” and “rhetoric”?

  4. Yup, it’s always about Jesus, not you.

    But as Scripture does clearly say were were called to faith, by grace, in Christ, to do those works prepared in advance for us to be walking in them. (Eph. 2).

    Don’t fall off the road on the other side of the ditch as you run away from bad theology on sanctification.

    Forde, by the way, is not a very good guide on these issues. I know that is “heresy” to say in some circles, but his theological position on justification and the atonement was dead wrong, so it’s no wonder he never got sanctification right either.

  5. Brigitte, it is a quote from Luther, from a letter he wrote to his friend and colleague Justas Jonas, in June 1530. In the letter he is rejoicing in the Law of God saying that he has become a boy again, repeating it word for word, nearly giddy to announce how he has been so powerfully reminded that all wisdom of God is found in His Law and then he concluded with the fascinating and brilliant observation that the Law is the “dialectic” of the Gospel, and the Gopsel is the “rhetoric” of the Gospel.

    This is an extremely clear statement of what we know as the Third Use of the Law.

    The Law is what informs our life as Christians, as that which is the information/guidance/the facts of life as Christians, who we are and what we are to do. But it is the Gospel that is the Law’s “rhetoric” that is, the “moving force/power for action.”

    That we are to be walking in the ways of God’s Law is clear and we, as God’s people, can rejoice in it! Yes, it always accuses, but this is never to suggest that the Law ONLY accuses. The way some Lutheran pastors talk about the Law you would think it is evil, bad, some “alien force” kind of “out there” kind of a ‘dark side of the force.”

    No, it is not the Law that is evil, it is sinful breaking of the Law that is evil.

    For Christians the Law is our guide to know precisely where and how we are to walk as God’s people. The Gospel is the power of God that makes that happen in our lives.

    It’s always all about Jesus who works His will, and His ways, in our lives via Law and Gospel.

  6. “We must increase, He must decrease…right?”

    Hello Steve,

    Hope you and your family are well. You got me, I had to read it twice! 😉

    God bless you †

  7. Magdalene,

    Hey, there you are! I was just thinking of you today and hoping you were alright.

    All is well with the Martins. Thanks for asking. I pray the same for you as well, Magdalene.

    ‘He’ must increase! A few people (more than a few actually) keep trying to get me to turn that around.

    Talk to you soon, Magdalene!

    – Steve

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