Q&A: Why Should We Be So Concerned With Pietism?

Here is a question that came in using our Ask a Pastor feature; click on the button on the sidebar to ask your own question.

Why are you writing so incorrectly about pietists?? The older pietism in Norway, Sweden and Finland didn’t say no to alcohol.

I think you are speaking about puritans or some newer variant of pietists.

I’m not defining me myself as a pietist, but I presuppose anyway that one could desribe them correctly.

Lutheran in Scandinavia.

 

In the late 1600’s, after the devastation and moral bankruptcy of the European landscape caused by the 30 year war, a movement came forth called Pietism[1].  Pietism was a movement that was a reaction to many of the weaknesses in the church life of the time.  According to Gunner Salmonson,

“The pietistic movement was a spiritual renewal movement.  It can be characterized by the following: 1) Emphasis on the New Birth, an inward renewal of the individual of being dead to sin and alive to Christ; 2) Living close to God in daily life with a stand against worldly living; 3) Fellowship and Bible Study groups often led by lay people 4) Emphasis on Sanctification 5) Social reform emphasis; 6) Mission vision; 7) An attempt to return to Luther’s teachings which the church had strayed from, namely the priesthood of believers, a life of repentance, a personal faith and witnessing.”[2]

At first glance it looks as if Pietism was a simple reaction or refocus on priorities, therefore why should we be so concerned with it?   According to Bengt Hagglund, the impact of Pietism was not merely a shift in priorities but it brought about a new theological position for Christendom.[3]  Hagglund states that Jakob Spener, the Father of Pietism, brought a new conception of the, “…inner transformation as the essential basic aspect of faith and expanded the concept of justification to include the inner new creation as well.”[4] Thus, there was a mingling of Justification and Sanctification.  The biggest shift of Pietism came about when, “Pietism made religious experience more important than Christian doctrine and stressed sanctification more than justification.”[5]  In other words, experience was then embraced (along with the doctrines of the Word) as a legitimate source of knowledge for the Christian’s epistemological framework.[6]  As a result Pietism, “…began to change the emphasis from what Christ has done for us to what Christ does in us. They emphasized holy living rather than the forgiveness of sins.” [7]

The crux of the problem is that the shift of Pietism (i.e. from Justification toward Sanctification) brought a completely different set of presuppositional ideas that affected Biblical interpretation.  These presuppositional shifts are posted below:

Lutheran Orthodoxy Presuppositions

Lutheran Pietism Presuppositions

Emphasis on Justification (i.e. The Work Of Christ For Us) Emphasis on Sanctification: (i.e. The Work Of Christ In Us [8])
Descent Theology (i.e. God coming to us; God doing the verbs) Ascent Theology [9] (i.e. Mankind’s living, man doing the verbs)
Passive Righteousness (i.e. Stative faith; the subject receives righteousness) Active Righteousness [10] (i.e. Active faith; the subject performs, instigates or grasps righteousness.
Emphasis on the 2nd Use of the Law (i.e. using the Law to convict sin, therefore, sin is accentuated as an internal problem… a condition) Emphasis on the 3rd Use of the Law [11] (i.e. using the Law as a guide for Holy living, therefore, sin is accentuated as an external problem… actions.  This focus has historically led to a loss or diminished view of original sin.)

As tabled above, the new Pietistic presuppositions were different from the orthodox Lutheranism that existed before it.[12] The emphasis shift not only impacted the life of the church but detrimentally had a profound impact on Biblical interpretation.

According to John Brenner the emphasis shift of the 17th and 18th century still impacts our Biblical interpretation today for, “…much of evangelical literature today puts an emphasis on sanctification rather than justification, on what we are to do rather than on what Christ has done for us.”[13] Over 60 years ago, E.H. Wendland stated the fact that, “…modern Protestantism today is saturated with a theology that is basically pietistic.”[14]

In summary, we should never be concerned with piety.  Piety is good.  Pietism though, along with its presuppositional shifts, is something that we should be concerned with due to its influence upon the church’s exegesis.

 

To learn more on this subject, may I suggest:
Pietism and American Christianity on Issues, Etc.

 


[1] According to Bengt Hagglund on pages 325-326 of his book, “History of Theology”  (Concordia Publishing, 1968), he states that the founder and beginning of the Pietistic movement came forth from Jakob Spener and the publishing of his book titled, “Pia desideria” in 1675.  On pages 87-118 of Spener’s “Pia desidera” (Introduction and translation by Theodore G. Tappert, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1964), he suggests the following to the Church:  1) Thought should be given to more extensive use of the Word of God. 2) Attention should be given to the establishment and diligent exercise of the universal priesthood of believers. 3) Christian faith must be put into action. For it is by no means enough to have knowledge of the Christian faith, for Christianity consists rather of practice. 4) We must beware of how we conduct ourselves in religious controversies. 5) In the schools and universities attention must be given to the moral development and moral training of future pastors. 6) Ministerial students should be taught to preach sermons aimed at the heart and directed toward the life of their hearers.

[2] Gunner Salmonson, Lessons for Life ~ Book B (Faith and Fellowship Press, 1998), 74.

[3] Bengt Hagglund, History of Theology (Concordia Publishing, 1968), 325.

[4] Hagglund, 328.

[5] John M. Brennar in the Forward of Valentin Ernst Loescher’s book The Complete Timotheus Verinus (Northwestern Publishing, 2006) , v.

[6] According to Markus Matthias on page 109 of, “The Pietist Theologians,” (Blackwell Publishing, 2005) he states that August Hermann Francke, “…raised personal knowledge of conversion to the criterion for a theologian, this was not simply like the persistent demand of earlier theologians that there be a correspondence of godly teaching and a holy life, but rather it concerned the capability to be able to make declarations about God from one’s own experience and hence with one’s own attestation.”

[7]John Brenner, Pietism: Past and Present  ~ Essay delivered at WELS Michigan District Southeastern Pastor/Teacher/Delegate Conference on January 23, 1989 and WELS Michigan District Northern Pastoral Conference on April 3, 1989

[8] As Already Stated by Brenner.

[9] John Brenner in his essay on page 8 states, “they changed the marks of the church from the proclamation of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments to right living. In other words, the Church isn’t necessarily where the gospel is proclaimed, but where people are living correctly.”  Furthermore, according to Valentin Loescher on page 63-ff in his book “The Complete Temotheus Verinus” (Northwestern Publishing, 1998) expounds on the Pietistic contempt for the means of grace.  Therefore, the means of grace as God’s action and deliver of gifts to us were diminished and the emphasis of right living essentially steered the church away from descent theology and inevitably established ascent theology.

[10] According to Hagglund on page 328, Pietism places a strong emphasis on the sanctified life as a testimony of true faith.  This led to what Loescher defines as double justification (pg. 113-114).  There became a double grasping of justification.  The first justification was one of embracing Christ and the second justification was one where struggling, diligent life of piety was required so as to validate ones justification.  Thus righteousness was no longer passive or received but perceived as active; needing to be acquired and confirmed.

[11] According to Brenner’s essay on page 5, “When Pietism shifted the emphasis from the law as mirror (to show us our sins) to the third use of the law (as a rule or guide), legalism resulted. For the pietists the main purpose of the law was to give a set of legal requirements for Christian living.  They tried to use the law to motivate Christian living. This is an improper use of the law and a characteristic of Reformed rather than Lutheran theology.”  This shift in understanding the Law also led to a diminishing of the doctrine of original sin.  Brenner on page 6 states, “Pietism failed to recognize the total depravity of human nature and lost sight of the fact that a Christian is at the same time both a saint and a sinner (simul iustus et peccator). They therefore had an unrealistic optimism for sanctification that bordered on perfectionism.”

[12] Hagglund, 327.

[13] Brenner, v.

[14] E.H. Wendland, “Present Day Pietism,” Theologische Quartalachrift, Vol 49, #1, January 1952, p. 22-23.

About Pastor Matt Richard

Rev. Dr. Matthew Richard is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church of Gwinner, ND. He was previously a Senior Pastor in Sidney, Montana, an Associate Pastor of Spiritual Care and Youth Ministries in Williston, North Dakota, and an Associate Pastor of Children and Youth in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He received his undergraduate degree from Minot State University, ND and his M.Div. from Lutheran Brethren Seminary, MN. His doctor of ministry thesis, from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, was on exploring the journey of American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheran thought. Pastor Richard is married to Serenity and they have two children. He enjoys fishing, pheasant hunting, watching movies, blogging, golfing, spending time with his family and a good book with a warm latte! To check out more articles by Pastor Matt you can visit his personal blog at: www.pastormattrichard.com.

Comments

Q&A: Why Should We Be So Concerned With Pietism? — 31 Comments

  1. Pastor Richard,

    While I think we agree that we shouldn’t emphasize 3rd use, is emphasizing 2nd use any better? If these uses are the Holy Spirit’s rather than ours, should we not simply teach & preach the Law we’ve been given and let the Holy Spirit use it as He wills? I don’t see how anyone who hears & receives the whole counsel of God with respect to the law can really avoid 1st, 2nd, or 3rd use. But trying to re-engineer the law to emphasize one use really makes it difficult to preach & teach the whole counsel.

    I raise the question because of instances in which Lutherans, in response to a justified fear of encroaching pietism, seemingly exhort people to repent of wanting to learn from Scripture how to better do good and serve our neighbors. In some cases, it almost seems to become a kind of theological pietism: “if you really trusted Christ’s work, you wouldn’t be asking how to be a better husband or worry about how to be chaste–you’d want nothing more than to passively receive the sacrament.” This kind of response to parishioners is no less pietistic than traditional pietism; it’s just a different set of morals derived from theological rather than traditionally moral concerns.

    Pietism is very much an error, but I have to say that “we should never be concerned with piety” sounds very much like an example of theological pietism. It looks like an exhortation to a good work (one not even commanded in Scripture as far as I know) that demonstrates how we believe what we’re supposed to believe.

  2. There is a lot of information floating around about what, precisely, Lutheran Pietism was all about. Unfortunately, there are significant errors in most secondary literature about Pietism. The best and most important source of information to understand just what exactly Pietism was all about is found in the most definitive analysis and refutation by an orthodox Lutheran theologian, ever published.

    I’m referring to Timotheus Verinus written by Ernst Valentin Löescher, it was published and then reprinted again by Northwestern Publishing House a number of years ago, and is avaialble now as a used book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Timotheus-Verinus-Valentin-Loescher/dp/0810006723/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344875206&sr=8-1&keywords=timotheus+verinus

    The comparison chart in this article is a tad simplistic and reflects mid to late 20th century errors on the third use of the Law, among other things.

    Here is a wise observation from Robin Leaver:

    “We do not have to look very far to see that today there is a new spirit of pietism abroad, a pietism that sees the essence of Christianity in the small, informal group, rather than in the total community of faith at worship within a recognized and formal liturgical order. It is a pietism that measures its success by the number of people it touches, rather than by the truth of the message it proclaims. It is a pietism that is preoccupied with “simple hymns” and informal structures of worship. It is a pietism that is impatient with the German Reformation of the sixteenth century, a pietism that asserts that we need new forms and less of the old. It is a new spirit of pietism that looks in many respects like the old pietism, the Pietism in the technical sense which we have considered here.

    “The leading question, of course, is this: Where did the old Pietism lead? By the end of the eighteenth century German Lutheranism had almost disappeared.

    “Liturgical forms had been eliminated, the highly developed church music of Bach and his contemporaries was no longer heard in the churches, and the content of the Christian faith had been watered down to little more than Unitarianism, with an invertebrate spirituality lacking the backbone of confessional theology. Instead of leading to a period of growth of the church, Pietism precipitated an era of decline of the church, a situation which was not reversed until, around the middle of the nineteenth century, there was a recovery of Lutheran confessional theology, Lutheran liturgical practice, and Lutheran church music, that is, a recovery of those things with which Bach was so intimately concerned.”

    Bach and Pietism: Similarities Today, by Robin A. Leaver, Concordia
    Theological Quarterly, 55:1 (Jan. 1991), pp. 5-22.

  3. Beside Ernst Valentin Löescher’s work, I have also appreciated a book edited by Carter Lindberg titled, “The Pietist Theologians.” It is published by Blackwell Publishing.

  4. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #2
    I think Pietism does tend to precipitate decline. I believe the highly pietistic evangelical scene is in for a rude awakening as it approaches a very steep cliff. SBC numbers beginning to decline is just the tip of this trend. Everyone is panicking trying to figure out the cause and prop up the institution, but the problem is too systemic. This is a very good time in history to be a confessional Lutheran, I think traffic on the Wittenburg trail will continue to increase as former Evangelicals (like myself) go looking for answers.

    Pietism also does seem to precipitate liberalism. As Leaver observed, post-pietism Lutheranism was watered down to resemble Unitarianism. Look at all the denominations of Puritan (Calvinism + Pietism) descent: The United Church of Christ, PCUSA, etc… And it does indeed seem to me that evangelicalism, as a “centrist” position between fundamentalism and progressivism, has begun a consistent drift to the left. Social justice concerns seem emphasized in their circles to the extent that family values were 20 years ago.

    If you want to empty a church, start preaching about the value of giving to the poor and helping the underprivileged. These are good things which nobody is naturally interested in. Apart from the cross of Christ, it is a doomed cause.

  5. I have to get after reading my book on Pietism sitting right here on my book stand.

    The History of Pietism
    Heinrich Schmid
    Translated by: James Langebartels
    Northwestern Publishing House

  6. @J. Dean #6

    The reason why the right column sounds like Wesleyanism is that Wesley was influenced by Pietism. According to the book titled, “Selected Writings of Pietism” it states that in 1738 John Wesley entered into conversation with a leading Pietist name Peter Bohler. After this experience it is stated that, “Wesley went on a three-month trip to Germany, where he met with many Pietists. In the years to follow he was to work out the implications of pietist theology in his own linguistic tradition.” (Peter Erb, Selected Writings of Pietism (Paulist Press, 1983), 23-24.)

  7. J. Dean :The column on the right smacks of Wesleyanism/Arminianism

    …which heavily borrowed from EO’s theosis. Pietism’s eventual conclusion has to be, “I’m not as bad as that guy over there.”

    When these televangelists brag that they have reduced their sins to only three per week, they’re not only lying (c’mon, they can’t be counting their thoughts), they’re missing the point that we shouldn’t sin at all. This should send us back to 2nd Use, repentance, and Absolution. (Rom. 7) This is the reason I like a little pause between, “[A]nd you forgave the iniquity of my sin” and “O, Almighty God, merciful Father…” It gives me time to think about all my screw-ups from the previous week, although that pause needs to be about five minutes for me.

    Like Solid Declaration, Art. XII says (about the Anabaptists), they have reinvented monkery. Nearly everyone, contrary to original sin and our fallen nature, wants to think he has just enough of a little internal spark of goodness to be righteous by his works.

  8. @Miguel #4
    “If you want to empty a church, start preaching about the value of giving to the poor and helping the underprivileged. These are good things which nobody is naturally interested in.”

    Not “naturally” perhaps, but if any man is in Christ he is a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17) I am aware of city churches that are clearly committed to helping the poor in their community. Matthew 25:40 seems to resonate in those congregations.

  9. But why are Puritans lumped in with Pietism? Most Calvinist/Puritan people I know claim Pietism is more Arminian than Calvinist, and the Puritans I’ve read state plainly that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ.

  10. @Carl H #9
    That verse should resonate in all congregations, like I said, it is a good thing. It is good for churches to be committed to this sort of work, but it is not sustainable apart from the grace that comes from God. The New Adam delights to love and serve his neighbor. When loving and serving your neighbor becomes the central message and displaces the cross of Christ from the church’s focus, you are essentially trying to get the old Adam to act like the new. Good luck with that!

  11. @J. Dean #10
    I believe most Pietists would affirm that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ. They just don’t talk much about it, because this is merely the introduction to the “Christian life.” The Puritans are somewhat of a diverse group, but I believe many of them are very pietistic because of their aggressive emphasis on the 3rd use of the law, and they point to works as proof of election.

  12. @Matt Cochran #1

    Good catch Matt.
    Actually the problem is that there are different meanings to the term “third use of the Law” aren’t there?

    Reformed are starting to talk about an indicative vs imperative use of the Law. This , and the reformed idea of the 3rd use, is that there is a use or kind of Law that doesn´t ALWAYS and ONLY kill and mortify. I suggest that that is the problem.

    We say, correctly, that there is a 3rd use that is ONLY for christians. So what is that 3rd use that is ONLY for Christians? FC V and the Apology tells us that the use of the Law that only Christians can know is when the veil of Moses is removed. When is that? It is when “christ personally takes the Law into his own hands”. He does that to what end? He does it to terrify us. He shows us God´s judgement upon even our best Good Works and condemns us in our very heart.

    So the purpose of the 3rd use is to kill us. It is to terrify us. That is what Orthodox Lutheranism teaches us. It is the most potent and deadly use of the Law. And so the veil of Moses is a form of mercy. It is God veiling the Law, until Christ. Why? Because apart from Christ, the 3rd use of the Law would decimate the population. We would all be doing, apart from Christ, what Judas did.

    But now, after Christ? The 3rd use is meant to terrify us, and in that terror faith is strengthened and grows. And that terror has us fleeing from the notion that works avail before God and has us therefore flee to hide ALL we can see and are able to do in the Works of Another.

    You are right Matt. It is not a question of emphasis on 2nd or 3rd use. You are right and the presentation is wrong. The 3rd use was taught by Dr Luther and all the confessors. But it was the Lutheran 3rd use that was taught. It was not a 3rd use that we can use.

    We dont use the Law. the uses us. We dont really do the Law. The law does us, and it only and always does us to death. That is what pietists and the reformed both have in common with Rome. They think that there can be Life in the law. Or that the Spirit Filled life is fed by the Law somehow.

    And even we LCMS Lutherans get this all wrong. we talk about the Law, as a result, as a christian striking the golden mean between Liberty and License. The problem with this is that we say that this is some special christian exercise of the Law or is distinguishing law and gospel . It is pure aristotle. Pagans can make such a distinction often better than christians can. There is nothing uniquely christian about such talk.

  13. @fws #13
    I’m not sure I agree here. The law of God is God’s word. How can God’s word not have life in it? I do not believe the law brings only death: It brings death to the Old Adam, but it brings delight to the New Adam. As baptized believers, our identity lies in the latter. If, as Walther taught, all of scripture is comprised of two chief doctrines, should we not meditate on them both? I think the death that the law brings to the Old Adam IS the way in which it guides us into the life of Christ. It prevents us from trusting in our own merit and points us to where righteousness is freely given.

  14. A good background article is “Liturgy and Pietism: Then and Now” by Prof. Pless. He first presented the paper at the Pieper Lectures when I was at Sem.

  15. From the main post: “Pietism was a movement that was a reaction to many of the weaknesses in the church life of the time.”

    Questions:

    1. Does that mean the church life associated with Lutheran orthodoxy?
    2. What were those weaknesses?
    3. Were they somehow eventually addressed apart from Pietism? If so, how?

  16. @Carl H #18
    As I understand it from history, Pietism saw Lutheranism as deteriorating. Spener and other likeminded pietist-types believed that Lutherans were not applying their faith as they ought to have been in everyday life, which served as part of their motivation. In some ways, it’s similar to Pelagius and his jump to works-righteousness; he was spurred on in part because of what he saw to be unchanged lives of professing Christians.

    This gives us something to think about: Perhaps Pelagianism and Pietism wouldn’t have come about if the church at large had been a little more faithful in its walk. My sin does not justify an unbeliever’s charge of hypocrisy as an excuse to shun Christianity. But that being said, wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t give an unbeliever room for that excuse so easily in the first place?

  17. @Miguel #14

    MIGUEL:

    The law of God is God’s word. How can God’s word not have life in it? I do not believe the law brings only death

    Ok. So may I suggest dear brother that you disagree with the Lutheran Confessions and Holy Scripture here? I will offer some quotes. Please click on the links and read the entire context for the quotes. It will make the quotes stronger.

    For the Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life, but it does not give the power and ability to begin and do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart. http://bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php#para11

    “The Letter [ie Law] kills, but the Spirit gives life”

    Paul says, Rom. 4, 15: The Law worketh wrath….For the Law always [and only] accuses and terrifies consciences. http://bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para38

    Then, too, how can the human heart love God while it knows that He is terribly angry, and is oppressing us with temporal and perpetual calamities? But the Law always [and ONLY!] accuses us, always shows that God is angry. …8] God therefore is not loved until we apprehend mercy by faith. Not until then does He become a lovable object. http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para7

    For the Law unceasingly accuses us, since we never can satisfy the Law. http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para45

    The Law always accuses, and produces wrath. http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para83

    the Law works wrath, and only accuses, only terrifies consciences, because consciences never are at rest
    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para136

    Do you still feel that there is Life in the Law? Show me this from Holy Scripture or our Lutheran Confessions dear brother Miguel. But I suggest that your problem is not with the Law but rather your view of sanctification and what that is. Read on.

    @T. R. Halvorson #15

    Was David without the Gospel when he said he delighted in the Law?

    No. (1) Keep in mind that both Law and Gospel have a broad and narrow sense. Here is more on that: http://bookofconcord.org/sd-lawandgospel.php#para3 Law is not mentioned in the passage I quoted but I suggest that this applies to the word “Law” as well. (2) Ps. 119:71: It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes. 1 Cor. 9:27: I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that, by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. And again, Heb. 12:8: But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. And in THIS way… David delights. He sees his Old Adam being killed!

    [the HS] … slays and makes alive; He leads into hell and brings up again. For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove… (which includes also the old Adam [of the Believer]) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. … to reprove is the peculiar office of the Law. Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved by the Holy Spirit from the Law , and by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel. http://bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php#para12

    And, indeed, if the believing and elect children of God were completely renewed in this life by the indwelling Spirit, so that in their nature and all its powers they were entirely free from sin, they would need no law http://bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php#para6

    Dear Brother TR Halvorson. I sense that you feel that sanctification can and should be exhorted and encouraged. Am I wrong here? Some Lutherans call this “gospel” exhortation”, erroneously, the 3rd use of the Law.

    IF you say this (am I wrong here?), how is that not to say that we can use our free will and our willpower to cooperate with the HS in sanctification?

    What is this but to substitute the Aristotelian practice of virtue until it becomes habit and calling that “sanctification”? No HS or Christ are necessary for outward virtue and righeousness.

    And the Formula of Concord in Article II “Free will” says this about that notion (again, please read the entire context of the quote. It quotes the other Confessions over and over and over to make this exact point):

    42] These testimonies state that by [not by] our own powers …[but by the] Holy Ghost, …we are enlightened, sanctified, and…kept with Him; and no mention is made either of our will or cooperation. http://bookofconcord.org/sd-freewill.php#para42

    Here is where this same article tells us that free will is to be appealed to:

    53] This Word man can externally hear and read, even though he is not yet converted to God and regenerate; for in these external things, as said above, man even since the Fall has to a certain extent a free will, so that he can go to church and hear or not hear the sermon.

    And then , as to showing visible fruits that prove our faith is real consider this:

    Góspel and Law fruit are the same identical fruit.
    The difference is in the doer not in the done.
    The difference is in the heart of the doer and not the act.
    So how would that be “shown” or “manifest”? Here is where we teach that fact:
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php#para16

    So fruit inspection is pointless. Wheat and tares are to remain together in the Church.

    Good Works? Do them!
    Mortify the flesh in the sense of practice the Aristotelian self disciplines?
    Do that too! God does indeed demand that be done!
    He will reward or punish us accordingly! We should fear that!

    But here is the deal TRH: Exhorting christians to do righeousness is, exactly, what virtuous pagans are able to do. It is the same thing and the same fruits!

    This is what the Formula of Concord Art VI teaches us.

    To relabel the mortification that the Law does and relabel it “sanctification” is to baptize Aristotle and substitute the philosophical righeousness of reason for Christian Righteousness.

    The exhortation to Good Works is not sanctification. The preaching of Good Works is not to preach a 3rd use of the Law that does not always and only kill. Not even in believers.

  18. @Miguel #14

    I think the death that the law brings to the Old Adam IS the way in which it guides us into the life of Christ. It prevents us from trusting in our own merit and points us to where righteousness is freely given.

    Excellent! Here is how our Apology in the Lutheran Confessions relate that terror that the Law produces to saving faith!

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

  19. @Carl H #18

    Carl,

    Bengt Hagglund in his book “History of Theology” comments on this. We also see Carter Lindberg on pages 7-8 in the book, “The Pietist Theologians,” state that Pietism did not,

    “…occur solely with regard to academic theology, but in the context of the general deterioration of living conditions after 1600 culminating in the Thirty Years’ War. By the end of the War the unity of church and society was shattered, and princely absolutism and the seeds of the Enlightenment had begun to emancipate the political and intellectual life from the power of the confessional church bodies and their theological traditions.”

    He goes on to say,

    “The profound upheaval of the War cannot be underestimated. Understood as a consequence of human depravity, the War provided an impetus for Pietism’s great yearning for peace…. Along with the crisis of war, the ruling Protestant Orthodoxy suffered an inner crisis. Christians should ameliorate the social-spiritual conditions of crisis, but they appeared rather to contribute to them…. These conditions and the sharpening of class differences within the church as well as the society led to increasing criticism of the church and society.”

    I hope that helps clarify. 🙂

  20. @fws #20
    Thank you for such a wonderful explanation of sanctification. There was another thread on here that could have used such a good confessional response! I feel I owe you two beers now! God Bless!

  21. I’m rather late to the party, but must comment.

    First, most of what is said above is correct. Including the original question.

    There is no such thing as Pietism. There have been, and are, many different things called pietism. We would be much better off talking about pietisms. Wesleyanism is pietism, but it is very far removed from conservative evangelical Anglicanism, which also is very often a form of pietism. Which again is very different from Wuerttemberg Pietism, which is significantly different from Halle Pietism. Rosenius from Sweden was a pietist, but he’s very different from Ruotsalainen of Finland. And when I say different, I mean substantially different, so that what they have in common is often less significant than where they differ.

    Which brings me back to the original question, about Scandinavian Pietism. There are many forms of Scandinavian Pietism. As a rule of thumb, Norwegian and Danish Pietisms tended to be less orthodox Lutheran, Finnish and Swedish Pietisms more so. In Finland, for example, it was the pietists who insisted, against much opposition from church authorities, on translating the Book of Concord into Finnish, and on retaining the quia subscription in the Church law in the 19th century. Where does that fit into the table above? Which type of pietism was Loescher writing against? (Clue: look at where he lived and worked, and when.) Some of the Finnish pietists I know are indistinguishable from John Stott’s type of evangelical, others are high-church confessionals with a very high view of the sacraments and the office of the ministry (one pietist group is the only one I know in the world whose regular term for an ordained pastor is ‘angel of the Lord of Sabaoth’).

    Some Scandinavian pietists were and are very un-Lutheran, some in theory, some in practice, others both. Others were deeply Lutheran. Don’t take my word for it: read the Hammer of God. Giertz and all his protagonists were all pietists. As were most of the other characters, too (especially the young pastors before they come to understand the Gospel), only of a different kind. That book is not a story of orthodoxy vs. pietism but orthodox pietism vs. unorthodox pietism.

    Very nearly all the good Scandinavian Lutherans you know or have heard of were (if dead) or are (if still alive) pietists of some description. If you want to support Luther Foundation Finland, or the Mission Province, or translate or read Giertz, you are making bedfellows out of pietists.

    And most of the above is very different from North American Pietisms, except where it occurs in some Scandinavian enclaves and amongst their descendants. Not to mention the fact that Walther himself was a pietist: of one sort when he left Germany, of another when he came to his Lutheran senses in Zion on the Mississippi.

    So my plea is this: when you discuss pietism, leave out the definite article and the generalisations. Say what you mean, and if you still want to call it pietism, perhaps the indefinite article might be in order.

    Says an orthodox, liturgically high, confessional pietist.

  22. The author’s rather broad definition in the article seems to sum up the basics of pietism very well. Of course it can look different in different countries or even different brands of Protestantism, but the root remains the same (as backed by the American Heritage Dictionary) “1. Stress on the emotional and personal aspects of religion.” That’s pretty much what Pr. Richard said. If it’s not meeting the definition of pietism, then perhaps it’s not pietism and we shouldn’t refer to it by that. 🙂 Pr. Richard again makes a good distinction, that I think is being overlooked. There is a difference between piety and pietism. Piety=good; pietism=bad. Might a better restatement of Giertz’ book then be to view it as piety vs pietism?

  23. Rev. McCall, I’m afraid you have just committed the ‘Every true Scotsman’ fallacy.

    What is called pietism is a series of historical movements and phenomena. Giertz was a pietist, because his spiritual home was in a movement within Lutheranism that was pietist, because that’s where it had come from. That a dictionary compiler, or blogger, or commenter, at some point takes a look at the field and then writes a definition of what he sees does not erase historical and self-understanding.

    I have been offered the piety/pietism distinction these past twenty years, and I continue to reject it. If a bunch of lay people gather in a conventicle on Sunday afternoon (having attended Divine Service in the morning), that’s historical pietism, as any textbook on pietism will tell you. That they are very pious and that what is said and done in that conventicle passes confessional and biblical muster, and that the conventicle is not held in opposition to but as a supplement to the sacramental life of the regular congregation, and that it is overseen by the called and ordained pastor: all this suggests that there is more than one thing that can be called pietism, and that it is not all bad.

    So away with the dictionary. I’m a pietist, Giertz was a pietist, nearly every good confessional Lutheran in Scandinavia is a pietist, Walther was a pietist – and that is not a slur on any of us. Though I do wish I was more pious than I am.

  24. Does any pietism movement have at it’s base or center the above mentioned presuppositions that Pr. Richard points out? If not and you reject it then please re-define pietism. You keep describing what I think Pr. Richard is calling piety, it’s just that you insist on calling it something else. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

  25. As a Reformed lurker (but with a warm spot for Lutheranism–Min Mor, Gud hville henne, var en Norske jente), I wonder why any attempt to turn our confessional Protestantism into something practical always gets labeled “pietist”? As for the Third Use of the Law, I see it not only in the Westminster and Heidelberg Catechisms, but in Luther’s Small Catechism, too. @Tapani Simojoki, I only wish I were more pious, too!

    Question: in Reformed circles we speak of being justified by faith alone, but that justification is never alone among God’s blessings (sanctification and the rest of the ordo salutis). How does the Lutheran confession view this?

  26. Peter:
    The “Lutheran Third Use of the Law” is exactly this: The Law has an ongoing use in the life of the believer. So the 3rd use is really the 1st and 2nd use. But there IS a difference between how Christians and unbelievers use the exact same Law. Its this: The “veil of Moses” has been removed from the believers. And… we say this as well about the Law as it pertains to believers and unbelievers alike: The Law always and only accuses and kills.

    I am going to quote what our Lutheran Confessions say about the Lutheran Third Use.
    I would LOVE for you to tell me how you feel this differs from the Reformed version of the Third Use.

    Note that I have taken the translation you can find on http://www.bookofconcord.org and have simply rearranged the paragraphs to have it more understandable. Go ahead and read the original arrangement and see for yourself if you think my exercise adds clarity to the reading of the formula of concord article 6. I have merged the “epitome” and the “solid declaration.” That is why what I am presenting seems to repeat itself in places. The paragraph numbering have been fully preserved

    Here you go!

    THE ONGOING USE OF THE LAW IN THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN.
    THE “THIRD USE OF THE LAW” FORMULA OF CONCORD
    Bold Face Epitome. Light Face Solid Declaration
    I. THE LAW OF GOD WAS GIVEN AND IS USEFUL TO MEN FOR THREE REASONS
    1] Since the Law was given to men for three reasons: 1]Solid Declaration: Since the Law of God is useful,
    first, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars; 1. not only to the end that external discipline and decency are maintained by it against wild, disobedient men;
    secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins; 2. likewise, that through it men are brought to a knowledge of their sins;
    thirdly, that after they are regenerate and much of the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life, 3. but also that, when they have been born anew by the Spirit of God, converted to the Lord, and thus the veil of Moses has been lifted from them, they live and walk in the law,
    DEFINITION:
    THE THIRD USE OF THE LAW IS…
    (a) THE CONTINUING LIFE IN THE LAW (BUT NOT UNDER IT)
    (b) AFTER CONVERSION (c) HAS REMOVED THE VEIL OF MOSES.
    (d) ALONE ON ACCOUNT OF THE OLD ADAM THAT STILL CLINGS TO THE REGENERATE.
    II. A dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law, a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning this third and last use of the Law. namely, whether it is to be urged or not upon regenerate Christians.
    ANTINOMIANS SAID:
    the other, Nay. 2] For the one side taught and maintained that the regenerate do not learn the new obedience, or in what good works they ought to walk, from the Law, and that this teaching concerning good works is not to be urged from the law, because they have been made free by the Son of God, have become the temples of His Spirit, and therefore do freely of themselves what God requires of them, by the prompting and impulse of the Holy Ghost, just as the sun of itself, without any foreign impulse, completes its ordinary course
    GNESIO LUTHERANS:
    6] And, indeed, if the believing and elect children of God were completely renewed in this life by the indwelling Spirit, so that in their nature and all its powers they were entirely free from sin, they would need no law, and hence no one to drive them either, but they would do of themselves, and altogether voluntarily, without any instruction, admonition, urging or driving of the Law, what they are in duty bound to do according to God’s will; just as the sun, the moon, and all the constellations of heaven have their regular course of themselves, unobstructed, without admonition, urging, driving, force, or compulsion, according to the order of God which God once appointed for them, yea, just as the holy angels render an entirely voluntary obedience.
    24]b and [when] man is perfectly renewed in the resurrection, when he will need neither the preaching of the Law nor its threatenings and punishments, as also the Gospel any longer; for these belong to this [mortal and] imperfect life. 25] But as they will behold God face to face, so they will, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, do the will of God the heavenly Father with unmingled joy, voluntarily, unconstrained, without any hindrance, with entire purity and perfection, and will rejoice in it eternally.
    2] 1. We believe, teach, and confess that, 4] For the explanation and final settlement of this dissent we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that
    2]b although men truly believing [in Christ] and truly converted to God have been freed and exempted from the curse and coercion of the Law, 4]b although the truly believing and truly converted to God and justified Christians are liberated and made free from the curse of the Law,
    2]c they nevertheless are not on this account without Law, but have been redeemed by the Son of God in order that they should exercise themselves in it day and night,that they should meditate upon God’s Law day and night, and constantly exercise themselves in its observance, Ps. 1:2 ], Ps. 119. 4]c yet they should daily exercise themselves in the Law of the Lord, as it is written, Ps. 1:2;119:1: Blessed is the man whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law doth he meditate day and night.
    1 Blessed is the man1 who awalks not in bthe counsel of the wicked, nor stands in cthe way of sinners, nor dsits in ethe seat of fscoffers; 2 but his gdelight is in the law2 of the LORD, and on his hlaw he meditates day and night. 119 1 Blessed are those whose kway is blameless, who lwalk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who mkeep his ntestimonies, who oseek him with their whole heart, 3 who also pdo no wrong, but walk in his ways! 9 How can va young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 11 I have ystored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 15 I will dmeditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your eways. 16 I will fdelight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
    5] For although the Law is not made for a righteous man, as the apostle testifies 1 Tim. 1:9,
    5 The aim of our charge is love lthat issues from a pure heart and ma good conscience and na sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by oswerving from these, have wandered away into pvain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, qwithout understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
    8 Now we know that rthe law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the slaw is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,2 liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to tsound3 doctrine, 11 in accordance with uthe gospel of the glory of vthe blessed God wwith which I have been entrusted.
    12 I thank him xwho has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, yappointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, zpersecutor, and insolent opponent. But aI received mercy bbecause I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and cthe grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the dfaith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is etrustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus fcame into the world to save sinners, gof whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
    but for the unrighteous, yet this is not to be understood in the bare meaning, that the justified are to live without law. 5]d But the meaning of St. Paul is that the Law cannot burden with its curse those who have been reconciled to God through Christ; nor must it vex the regenerate with its coercion, because they have pleasure in God’s Law after the inner man. 5]c For the Law of God has been written in their heart,
    III. REASONS WHY THE LAW MUST CONTINUE TO BE IN USE FOR BELIEVERS
    A. THE LAW EXISTED EVEN BEFORE THE FALL, WRITTEN IN THE HEART AS A CONSEQUENCE OF BEING CREATED IN GOD’s IMAGE (God’s Image is, alone, faith in Christ).
    For even our first parents before the Fall did not live without Law, who had the Law of God written also into their hearts, because they were created in the image of God,;;
    Gen. 1:26f.26 Then God said, o“Let us make man8 in our image, pafter our likeness. And qlet them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; rmale and female he created them.
    2:16ff16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lyou shall not eat, for in the day that you eat4 of it you mshall surely die.”
    18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; nI will make him a helper fit for5 him.” 19 oNow out of the ground the Lord God had formed6 every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and pbrought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam7 there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a qdeep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made8 into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
    “This at last is rbone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called Woman,
    because she was staken out of Man.”9
    24 tTherefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
    3:3.2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, v‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
    5]b and also to the first man immediately after his creation a law was given according to which he was to conduct himself.
    B. THE SAME LAW, SINCE IT MIRRORS THE WILL OF GOD AND WHAT PLEASES HIM, IS TO BE URGED ON BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS ALIKE.
    3]E 2. We believe, teach, and confess that the preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence, not only upon the unbelieving and impenitent, but also upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith. 4]b For the Law is a mirror in which the will of God, and what pleases Him, are exactly portrayed, and which should [therefore] be constantly held up to the believers and be diligently urged upon them without ceasing.
    C. BELIEVERS NEED THE LAW BECAUSE REGENERATION AND RENEWAL ARE NOT COMPLETE
    4] 3. For although they are regenerate and renewed in the spirit of their mind, yet in the present life this regeneration and renewal is not complete, but only begun, 18] But since believers are not completely renewed in this world 7] However, believers are not renewed in this life perfectly or completely, completive vel consummative [as the ancients say]; for although their sin is covered by the perfect obedience of Christ, so that it is not imputed to believers for condemnation, and also the mortification of the old Adam and the renewal in the spirit of their mind is begun through the Holy Ghost,
    D. ORIGINAL SIN HAS TOTALLY CORRUPTED THEIR ENTIRE NATURE AND ESSENCE, REASON, WILL, MEMBERS, AND SOUL (cf FC I).
    4]bE and believers are, by the spirit of their mind, in a constant struggle against the flesh, 18]c there also remains in them the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. Therefore they delight indeed in God’s Law according to the inner man, but the law in their members struggles against the law in their mind; hence they are never without the Law, and nevertheless are not under, but in the Law, and live and walk in the Law of the Lord, and yet do nothing from constraint of the Law.
    4]cE that is, against the corrupt nature and disposition which cleaves to us unto death, 18]bSD but the old Adam clings to them even to the grave, 7]b nevertheless the old Adam clings to them still in their nature and all its internal and external powers. 8] Of this the apostle has written Rom. 7:18ff.:
    18 For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 bFor I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For dI delight in the law of God, ein my inner being, 23 but I see in my members fanother law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    I know that in me [that is, in my flesh] dwells no good thing. And again: For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do; Likewise: I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin. Likewise, Gal. 5:17:
    16 But I say, vwalk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify wthe desires of the flesh. 17 For xthe desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, yto keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are zled by the Spirit, ayou are not under the law. 19 Now bthe works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, cdivisions, 21 envy,4 drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that dthose who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But ethe fruit of the Spirit is flove, joy, peace, patience, gkindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 hgentleness, iself-control; jagainst such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus khave crucified the flesh with its lpassions and desires.
    25 If we live by the Spirit, mlet us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 nLet us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
    6 Brothers,1 oif anyone is caught in any transgression, pyou who are spiritual should restore him in qa spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 rBear one another’s burdens, and sso fulfill tthe law of Christ. 3 For uif anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one wtest his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For xeach will have to bear his own load.
    6 yLet the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 zDo not be deceived: God is not mocked, for awhatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For bthe one who sows to his own flesh cwill from the flesh reap corruption, but dthe one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And elet us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, fif we do not give up. 10 So then, gas we have opportunity, let us hdo good to everyone, and especially to those who are iof the household of faith.
    11 See with what large letters I am writing to you jwith my own hand. 12 kIt is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh lwho would force you to be circumcised, and only min order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast nexcept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which2 the world ohas been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For pneither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but qa new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, rpeace and mercy be upon them, and upon sthe Israel of God.
    The flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    E. THE BELIEVER NEEDS THE LAW’S INSTRUCTION IN ORDER TO AVOID “ROLL-YOUR-OWN” RIGHTEOUSNESS
    4]dE On account of this old Adam, which still inheres in the understanding, the will, and all the powers of man, it is needful that the Law of the Lord always shine before them, in order that they may not from human devotion institute wanton and self-elected cults [that they may frame nothing in a matter of religion from the desire of private devotion, and may not choose divine services not instituted by God’s Word]; 20] So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command, as it is written Deut. 12:8,28,32:
    8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, oeveryone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, …28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, fthat it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. …32 2 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. pYou shall not add to it or take from it.
    Ye shall not do … every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, etc., but observe and hear all these words which I command thee. Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish there from.
    4]d Although the truly believing are verily moved by God’s Spirit, and thus, according to the inner man, do God’s will from a free spirit, yet it is just the Holy Ghost who uses the written law for instruction with them, by which the truly believing also learn to serve God, not according to their own thoughts, but according to His written Law and Word, which is a sure rule and standard of a godly life and walk, how to order it in accordance with the eternal and immutable will of God.
    F. THREATS OF THE LAW ARE NOT NOT ENOUGH:
    PUNISHMENTS AND BLOWS ARE NEEDED TO SUBDUE THE OLD ADAM
    4]eE likewise, that the old Adam also may not employ his own will, but may be subdued against his will, not only by the admonition and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that he may follow and surrender himself captive to the Spirit, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 6:12, Gal. 6:14; Ps. 119:1ff ; Heb. 13:21 (Heb. 12:1).
    24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives sthe prize? So trun that you may obtain it. 25 Every uathlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we van imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I wdo not box as one xbeating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and ykeep it under control,2 lest after preaching to others zI myself should be adisqualified.
    6 What shall we say then? mAre we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can nwe who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us owho have been baptized pinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were qburied therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as rChrist was raised from the dead by sthe glory of the Father, we too might walk in tnewness of life.
    5 For uif we have been united with him in va death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that wour old self1 xwas crucified with him in order that ythe body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For zone who has died ahas been set free2 from sin. 8 Now bif we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that cChrist, being raised from the dead, will never die again; ddeath no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, eonce for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves fdead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not gsin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 hDo not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but ipresent yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For jsin kwill have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
    15 What then? lAre we to sin mbecause we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves nto anyone as obedient slaves,3 you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But othanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pstandard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, qhaving been set free from sin, rhave become slaves of righteousness. 19 sI am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For tjust as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members uas slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 vFor when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 wBut what fruit were you getting at that time from the things xof which you are now ashamed? yFor the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you zhave been set free from sin and ahave become slaves of God, bthe fruit you get leads to sanctification and cits end, eternal life. 23 dFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    7 Or do you not know, brothers1—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For ea married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.2 3 Accordingly, fshe will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. 4 Likewise, my brothers, gyou also have died hto the law ithrough the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, jin order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work kin our members lto bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the mnew way of nthe Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.3
    12 kIt is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh lwho would force you to be circumcised, and only min order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast nexcept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which2 the world ohas been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For pneither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but qa new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, rpeace and mercy be upon them, and upon sthe Israel of God.
    119 1 Blessed are those whose kway is blameless, who lwalk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who mkeep his ntestimonies, who oseek him with their whole heart, 3 who also pdo no wrong, but walk in his ways! 4 You have commanded your qprecepts to be kept diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may rbe steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 sThen I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn tyour righteous rules.2 8 I will keep your statutes; udo not utterly forsake me!
    20 Now dmay the God of peace ewho brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, fthe great shepherd of the sheep, by gthe blood of the eternal covenant, 21 hequip you with everything good that you may do his will, iworking in us1 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, jto whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
    12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and wsin which clings so closely, and xlet us run ywith endurance the race that is zset before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, awho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising bthe shame, and cis seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    3 dConsider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or efainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
    f“My son, gdo not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For hthe Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. iGod is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, jin which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to kthe Father of spirits land live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, mthat we may share his holiness. 11 nFor the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields othe peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore plift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and qmake straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint rbut rather be healed. 14 sStrive for peace with everyone, and for the tholiness uwithout which no one will see the Lord.
    19] But as far as the old Adam is concerned, which still clings to believers, he must be driven not only with the Law, but also with punishments; nevertheless he does everything against his will and under coercion, no less than the godless are driven and held in obedience by the threats of the Law, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:18. 19.
    27 But I discipline my body and ykeep it under control,2 lest after preaching to others zI myself should be adisqualified.
    18 For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 bFor I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    9] Therefore, because of these lusts of the flesh the truly believing, elect, and regenerate children of God need in this life not only the daily instruction and admonition, warning, and threatening of the Law, but also frequently punishments, that they may be roused, the old man is driven out of them, and follow the Spirit of God, as it is written Ps. 119:71
    65 You have dealt well with your servant, O LORD, zaccording to your word. 66 Teach me agood judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. 67 bBefore I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 cYou are good and do good; dteach me your statutes. 69 eThe insolent fsmear me with lies, but with my whole heart I gkeep your precepts; 70 their heart is unfeeling hlike fat, but I idelight in your law. 71 It is jgood for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. 72 kThe law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
    1 Cor. 9:27:I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that, by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
    Heb. 12:8:But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons;
    This Point Dr. Luther has fully explained this at greater length in the Summer Part of the Church Postil, on the Epistle for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.
    24] For the old Adam, as an intractable, refractory ass, is still a part of them, which must be coerced to the obedience of Christ, not only by the teaching, admonition, force and threatening of the Law, but also oftentimes by the club of punishments and troubles, until the body of sin is entirely put off.
    G. THE BELIEVER, IN ADDITION, NEEDS TO EXERCISE HIMSELF WITH GOOD WORKS SO THEY ARE A MIRROR OF THE LAW TO HIM
    21] So, too, the doctrine of the Law, in and with the exercise of the good works of believers, is necessary for the reason that otherwise man can easily imagine that his work and life are entirely pure and perfect. But the Law of God prescribes to believers good works in this way, that it shows and indicates at the same time, as in a mirror, that in this life they are still imperfect and impure in us, so that we must say with the beloved Paul, 1 Cor. 4:4:
    I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified.
    Thus Paul, when exhorting the regenerate to good works, presents to them expressly the Ten Commandments, Rom. 13:9;
    8 wOwe no one anything, except to love each other, for xthe one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, y“You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: z“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore alove is the fulfilling of the law.
    and that his good works are imperfect and impure he recognizes from the Law, Rom. 7:7ff
    7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, oI would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if pthe law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, qseizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. rFor apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment sthat promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, tseizing an opportunity through the commandment, udeceived me and through it killed me. 12 So vthe law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
    13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, wsold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For xI do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with ythe law, that it is good. 17 So now zit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    and David declares Ps. 119:32:
    32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you fenlarge my heart!5 33 gTeach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it hto the end.6 34 iGive me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35 jLead me in the path of your commandments, for I kdelight in it. 36 lIncline my heart to your testimonies, and not to mselfish gain! 37 nTurn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and ogive me life in your ways. 38 pConfirm to your servant your promise, qthat you may be feared. 39 Turn away the rreproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
    Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, I will run the way of Thy commandments; but enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified, Ps. 143:2.
    1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; cgive ear to my pleas for mercy! In your dfaithfulness answer me, in your drighteousness! 2 eEnter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous fbefore you.
    IV. NEW OBEDIENCE AND SANCTIFICATION: LAW OR GOSPEL?
    10] But we must also explain distinctively what the Gospel does, produces, and works towards the new obedience of believers, and what is the office of the Law in this matter, as regards the good works of believers.
    11] For the [unveiled] Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life [Heart-keeping of the First Table Law. True, fear, love and trust: Faith Alone]. But It does not give the power and ability to begin or do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart.
    10 For all who rely on works of the law are munder a curse; for it is written, n“Cursed be everyone who does not oabide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that pno one is justified before God by the law, for q“The righteous shall live by faith.”4 12 But the law is not of faith, rather r“The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might vcome to the Gentiles, so that wwe might receive xthe promised Spirit5 through faith.
    12] Thereafter the Holy Ghost employs the Law so as to teach the regenerate from it, and to point out and show them in the Ten Commandments what is the good and acceptable will of God in what good works God hath before ordained that they should walk,
    Rom. 12:2:2 cDo not be conformed to this world,3 but be transformed by dthe renewal of your mind, that by testing you may ediscern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.4
    zI appeal to you therefore, brothers,1 by the mercies of God, ato present your bodies bas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2
    Eph. 2:10: 2 jAnd you were kdead in the trespasses and sins 2 lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following mthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in nthe sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in othe passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and pwere by nature qchildren of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 4 But3 God, being rrich in mercy, sbecause of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even twhen we were dead in our trespasses, umade us alive together with Christ—vby grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and wseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable xriches of his grace in ykindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For zby grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is bnot your own doing; cit is the gift of God, 9 dnot a result of works, eso that no one may boast. 10 For fwe are his workmanship, gcreated in Christ Jesus hfor good works, iwhich God prepared beforehand, jthat we should walk in them.
    He exhorts them thereto, and when they are idle, negligent, and rebellious in this matter because of the flesh, He reproves them on that account through the Law
    12]b , so that He carries on both offices together: He slays and makes alive; He leads into hell and brings up again.
    12]c For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove.
    17] (Formula of Concord, Article V, “Law and Gospel”) the Law is properly a divine doctrine, in which the righteous, immutable will of God is revealed, what is to be the quality of man in his nature, thoughts, words, and works, in order that he may be pleasing and acceptable to God; and it threatens its transgressors with God’s wrath and temporal and eternal punishments. For as Luther writes against the law-stormers [Antinomians]: Everything that reproves sin is and belongs to the Law, whose peculiar office it is to reprove sin and to lead to the knowledge of sins, Rom. 3:20,7:7; and as unbelief is the root and well-spring of all reprehensible sins [all sins that must be censured and reproved], the Law reproves unbelief also.
    18] It’s also true that the Law with its doctrine is illustrated and explained by the Gospel. It remains the peculiar office of the Law to reprove sins and teach concerning good works.
    [Example: Christ as Bridegroom of the Church as an Example for husbands.]
    13] But sin is everything that is contrary to God’s Law. 14]c Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved by the Holy Spirit from the Law, and by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.14] And St. Paul says:
    All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, etc.,
    14]b and To reprove is the peculiar office of the Law.
    12]d As it is written:
    When the Holy Ghost is come, He will reprove the world (which includes also the old Adam [of the believer]) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
    15] But in order that, as far as possible, all misunderstanding may be prevented, and the distinction between the works of the Law and those of the Spirit be properly taught and preserved it is to be noted with especial diligence that when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works), then the word Law has only one sense, namely, the immutable will of God, according to which [all] men [both believers and unbelievers alike] are to conduct themselves in their lives. 7] 6. Thus the Law is and remains both to the penitent and impenitent, both to regenerate and unregenerate men, one and the same Law, namely, the immutable will of God;
    8] Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree is not to be urged upon Christians and true believers, but only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent.26] Accordingly, we reject and condemn as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness, the teaching that the Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree, should not be urged upon Christians and the true believers, but only upon the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent.
    V. THE GOOD WORKS OF BELIEVERS: LAW OR GOSPEL?
    5] 4. Now, as regards the distinction between the works of the Law and the fruits of the Spirit, we believe, teach, and confess that the 7]b and the difference, so far as concerns obedience, is alone in man [not in the fruit or works done], The difference, however, is [not] [with]in the works, [but is rather] because of the difference [with]in the men who strive to live according to this Law and will of God.
    7]c works which are done according to the Law are and are called works of the Law as long as they are only extorted from man by urging the punishment and threatening of God’s wrath. 16] For as long as man is not regenerate, and [therefore] conducts himself according to the Law and does the works because they are commanded thus, from fear of punishment or desire for reward, he is still under the Law, and his works are called by St. Paul properly works of the Law, for they are extorted by the Law, as those of slaves; and these are saints after the order of Cain, that is: hypocrites. 7]c inasmuch as one who is not yet regenerate does for the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him.
    This also applies to what the regenerate do according to the flesh. [Note: The good works of the regenerate are all done in the flesh. Where and how else would they be done?]
    6] 5. Fruits of the Spirit, however, are the [same] works which the Spirit of God who dwells in believers works through the regenerate, and which are done by believers so far as they are regenerate spontaneously and freely, as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward; for in this manner the children of God live in the Law and walk according to the Law of God, which [mode of living] St. Paul in his epistles calls the Law of Christ and the Law of the mind…
    Rom. 7:2525 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    8:77 For the mind that is set on the flesh is vhostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; windeed, it cannot.
    Rom. 8:22 For the law of hthe Spirit of life ihas set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death
    Gal. 6:26 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load..
    17] But when man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ. For such men are no more under the Law, but under grace, as St. Paul says…
    Rom. 8:2: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 2 For the law of hthe Spirit of life ihas set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For jGod has done what the law, kweakened by the flesh, lcould not do. mBy sending his own Son nin the likeness of sinful flesh and ofor sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that pthe righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, qwho walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For rthose who live according to the flesh set their minds on sthe things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on tthe things of the Spirit. 6 For to set uthe mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is vhostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; windeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    Rom. 7:23: 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For dI delight in the law of God, ein my inner being, 23 but I see in my members fanother law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    1 Cor. 9:21: 19 For hthough I am free from all, iI have made myself a servant to all, that I might jwin more of them. 20 kTo the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To lthose outside the law I became mas one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but nunder the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 oTo the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. pI have become all things to all people, that qby all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, rthat I may share with them in its blessings.
    7]d but the believer, so far as he is regenerate, does without constraint and with a willing spirit that which no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him.
    VI. HOW AND WHY ARE THE GOOD WORKS OF BELIEVERS ACCEPTABLE? LAW OR GOSPEL?
    22] But how and why the good works of believers, although in this life they are imperfect and impure because of sin in the flesh, are nevertheless acceptable and well-pleasing to God, is not taught by the Law, which requires an altogether perfect, pure obedience if it is to please God. But the Gospel teaches that our spiritual offerings are acceptable to God through faith for Christ’s sake,
    1 Pet. 2:5: 13 Therefore, gpreparing your minds for action,1 and hbeing sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, ido not be conformed to the passions jof your former ignorance, 15 but kas he who called you is holy, you also be holy lin all your conduct, 16 since it is written, m“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you ncall on him as Father who ojudges pimpartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves qwith fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you rwere ransomed from sthe futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but twith the precious blood of Christ, like that of ua lamb vwithout blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but wwas made manifest xin the last times for the sake of you 21 ywho through him are believers in God, zwho raised him from the dead and agave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
    22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for ba sincere brotherly love, clove one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 dsince you have been born again, enot of perishable seed but of imperishable, through fthe living and abiding word of God; 24 for
    g“All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
    The grass withers,
    and the flower falls, 25 hbut the word of the Lord remains forever.”
    And this word iis the good news that was preached to you.
    2 jSo put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 kLike newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual lmilk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have mtasted that the Lord is good.
    4 As you come to him, a living stone nrejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 oyou yourselves like living stones are being built up as pa spiritual house, to be qa holy priesthood, rto offer spiritual sacrifices sacceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

    Heb. 11:4ff.: 11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of ethings not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by fthe word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of gthings that are visible.
    4 By faith hAbel offered to God ia more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And jthrough his faith, though he died, he kstill speaks. 5 By faith lEnoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God mmust believe that he exists and mthat he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith nNoah, being warned by God concerning oevents as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of pthe righteousness that comes by faith.
    8 By faith qAbraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place rthat he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in sthe land of promise, as in a foreign land, tliving in tents uwith Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to vthe city that has wfoundations, xwhose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith ySarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered zhim faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and ahim as good as dead, were born descendants bas many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
    13 These all died in faith, cnot having received the things promised, but dhaving seen them and greeted them from afar, and ehaving acknowledged that they were fstrangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, gthey would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed hto be called their God, for ihe has prepared for them a city.
    17 By faith jAbraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, k“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 lHe considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith mIsaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith nJacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, obowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith pJoseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
    23 By faith qMoses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of rthe king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, srefused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 tchoosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy uthe fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 vHe considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to wthe reward. 27 By faith he xleft Egypt, ynot being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured zas seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith ahe kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
    29 By faith bthe people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith cthe walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith dRahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she ehad given a friendly welcome to the spies.
    32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of fGideon, gBarak, hSamson, iJephthah, of jDavid and kSamuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, lstopped the mouths of lions, 34 mquenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, nbecame mighty in war, nput foreign armies to flight. 35 oWomen received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even pchains and imprisonment. 37 qThey were stoned, they were sawn in two,1 they were killed with the sword. sThey went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—twandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
    39 And all these, uthough commended through their faith, udid not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, vthat apart from us they should not be made perfect.
    12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and wsin which clings so closely, and xlet us run ywith endurance the race that is zset before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, awho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising bthe shame, and cis seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    3 dConsider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or efainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, gdo not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
    6 For hthe Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”
    7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. iGod is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, jin which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to kthe Father of spirits land live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, mthat we may share his holiness. 11 nFor the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields othe peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
    12 Therefore plift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and qmake straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint rbut rather be healed.
    23] In this way Christians are not under the Law, but under grace, because by faith in Christ the persons are freed from the curse and condemnation of the Law; and because their good works, although they are still imperfect and impure, are acceptable to God through Christ; moreover, because so far as they have been born anew according to the inner man, they do what is pleasing to God, not by coercion of the Law, but by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, voluntarily and spontaneously from their hearts; however, they maintain nevertheless a constant struggle against the old Adam.

  27. Peter:
    You can’t really understand article 6 about the Lutheran third use without knowing what the confessions mean by the “veil of Moses”. So here is what the confessions say about that. (most of the following is from the Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Paragraph marks have been preserved. Again you can find all this on http://www.bookofconcord.org:

    THE VEIL OF MOSES
    12] Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15 ff:
    12 Since we have such a hope, jwe are very bold, 13 not like Moses, kwho would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But ltheir minds were mhardened. For to this day, nwhen they read othe old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when pone3 turns to the Lord, qthe veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord4 is the Spirit, and where rthe Spirit of the Lord is, there is sfreedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,5 vare being transformed into the same Image wfrom one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
    The veil that covered the face of Moses cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Ghost is received.
    For he speaks thus:
    But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    13] Paul understands by the veil the human opinion concerning the entire Law – the Decalog and the ceremonies:
    hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato
    (Ex Opere Operato: “by the mere outward compliance to a law, whether our heart is in it or not, just exactly as one would completely satisfy the requirements of a civil law”).
    14] But then this veil is removed from us. That looks like this:
    we are freed from this error when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the heinousness of sin. Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law. Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference: does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us.
    But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost so that now:
    we are able to think aright concerning God, and to fear and believe God in our heart.
    Insert:
    10] (From the Formula, SD, article V, “Law and Gospel”) For since the mere preaching of the Law, without Christ, either makes presumptuous men, who imagine that they can fulfill the Law by outward works, or forces them utterly to despair, Christ himself takes the Law into His own hands, and explains it spiritually
    Matt. 5:21ff ‘You shall not murder´
    But I tell you: beveryone who is angry …whoever insults…whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to cthe hell of fire.
    23 So if eyou are offering…at the altar…First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
    25 fCome to terms quickly with your accuser …lest … you be put in prison. 26 … you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.6…
    ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
    28 But I tell you: everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has…committed adultery…in his heart.
    29 If your right eye [or] …your right hand causes you to sin, throw it away…it is better…than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
    48 oYou therefore must be pperfect, qas your heavenly Father is perfect.
    12 “So ewhatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is fthe Law and the Prophets.
    13 Go and learn iwhat this means, j‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For kI came not to call the righteous, lbut sinners.”
    2 , your disciples are doing zwhat is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 7 And if you had known ewhat this means, f‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”j 11 12 lOf how much more value is a man than a sheep! So mit is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And nthe man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
    Rom. 7:14: 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, wsold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For xI do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with ythe law, that it is good. 17 So now zit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 bFor I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For dI delight in the law of God ein my inner being, 23 but I see in my members fanother law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    Rom 1:18: 18 For kthe wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be mknown about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, nhave been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 pClaiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and qexchanged the glory of rthe immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
    and thus reveals His wrath from heaven upon all sinners, and shows how great it is; whereby they are directed to the Law, and from it first learn to know their sins aright-a knowledge which Moses never could extort from them. For as the apostle testifies, 2 Cor. 3:14ff, even though Moses is read, yet the veil which he put over his face is never lifted, so that they cannot understand the Law spiritually, and how great things it requires of us, and how severely it curses and condemns us because we cannot observe or fulfil it. Nevertheless, when it shalt turn to the Lord, the veil shalt be taken away, 2 Cor. 3:16.
    2 Cor. 3:14ff: 12 Since we have such a hope, jwe are very bold, 13 not like Moses, kwho would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But ltheir minds were mhardened. For to this day, nwhen they read othe old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when pone3 turns to the Lord, qthe veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord4 is the Spirit, and where rthe Spirit of the Lord is, there is sfreedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,5 vare being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 7 But we have this treasure in pjars of clay, qto show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are rafflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but snot forsaken; tstruck down, but not destroyed; 10 ualways carrying in the body the death of Jesus, vso that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So wdeath is at work in us, but life in you.
    13 Since we have xthe same spirit of faith according to what has been written, y“I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that zhe who raised the Lord Jesus awill raise us also with Jesus and bbring us with you into his presence. 15 For cit is all for your sake, so that as dgrace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, eto the glory of God.
    16 So we do not lose heart. fThough our outer self4 is wasting away, gour inner self his being renewed day by day. 17 For ithis light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 jas we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 5 For we know that if kthe tent that is lour earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, ma house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent nwe groan, longing to oput on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on1 we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal pmay be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, qwho has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
    6 So we are always of good courage. We know that rwhile we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for swe walk by faith, not tby sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we uwould rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to vplease him. 10 For wwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, xso that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
    11 Therefore, knowing ythe fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But zwhat we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 aWe are not commending ourselves to you again but bgiving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we care beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ dcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that eone has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, fthat those who live might no longer live for themselves but gfor him who for their sake died and was raised.
    Inserted Quote:
    This topic is also discussed in an instructive way in the eleventh section of the tractate “On the Freedom of a Christian;” it is a key text for expressing Luther’s teaching about sin:
    “Faith exercises its power in that it honors the one in whom it believes with the most faithful and highest belief, that is, it considers the person to be believed to be a true and worthy human being. No other honor is comparable to that belief about the truth and righteousness by means of whi8ch we honor one whom we believe. What greater thing can we attribute to an individual than truth, righteousness, and virtually unconditional goodness? And, by contrast, it is the most horrible insult when one spreads and opinion about someone or is suspicious about a person that he is a liar or is unrighteous, which we do when we cannot trust him. This is how the soul acts in faith when it believes steadfastly in the God who makes promises, considers him to be one who is true and righteous, and cannot attribute anything greater still to God than this belief. This is the highest honor accorded to God, to attribute to him truth and righteousness, and to give him everything that is to be believed or which is believable. This is the way the soul shows itself to be ready for all of his believable will; it is here that it hallows his name and lets whatever happens that God chooses to do to it, as it pleases him, because it holds fully to the promise of god and does not doubt that he is a true, righteous, wise God, who acts, ordains and gives care according to what is best. And is not such a soul, by means of its faith, obedient to god in all things? Which commandment will thus be extra, so that it will not need to be fulfilled in complete obedience? Which fullness would be fuller than obedience in all things? And this does not take place through works, but only through faith.
    By contrast, what rebellion, what unbelief, what insult, is greater than not believing in his promise? How is this anything other than either to make God a liar or else to doubt that he is true? Does this not say that one attributes truth to oneself, but to God, instead, the lie and nothingness? Does the human being not negate God and judge himself to be an idol in his heart? Of what use then are the works then, which are performed from within such unbelief, even if they were works of an angel or an apostle? It is right of God that he includes everything not within wrath or within lust but within unfaith, so that they do not flatter themselves by thinking that they can fulfill the law by chaste and mild works of the law – for these are political and human virtues – and assume that they would be saved thereby, because they are conceptualized within the framework of the sin of unbelief, so that they either seek mercy or are condemned by means of righteousness.
    But where God sees that truth is attributed to him and that he is honored with such an honor that comes through faith in our heart, of which he alone is worthy, he then responds in return and honors us, and thus attributes to us truth and righteousness because of this faith as well. It is faith, namely, that makes truth and righteousness, in that it gives God his due. For this reason, in response, God gives honor to our righteousness.
    Inserted Quote:
    Luther put all this this way in his Preface to his 1545 Translation of St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. [Dr. Luther is here describing where “Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands’ (cf FC, SD, art V) and removes the ‘Veil of Moses” from the Law]
    To begin with, we have to become familiar with the vocabulary of the letter and know what St. Paul means by the words law, sin, grace, faith, justice, flesh, spirit, etc. Otherwise there is no use in reading it.
    You must not understand the word Law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. [This looks like checking off a written checklist of do’s and don’ts.] That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not.
    God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart.
    Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.
    Therefore in chapter 2, St. Paul adds that the Jews are all sinners and says that only the doers of the law are justified in the sight of God. What he is saying is that no one is a doer of the law by works. On the contrary, he says to them, “You teach that one should not commit adultery, and you commit adultery. You judge another in a certain matter and condemn yourselves in that same matter, because you do the very same thing that you judged in another.” It is as if he were saying, “Outwardly you live quite properly in the works of the law and judge those who do not live the same way; you know how to teach everybody. You see the speck in another’s eye but do not notice the beam in your own.”
    Outwardly you keep the law with works out of fear of punishment or love of gain. Likewise you do everything without free desire and love of the law; you act out of aversion and force. You’d rather act otherwise if the law didn’t exist [, and there were no consequences at all to what you did]. It follows, then, that you, in the depths of your heart, are an enemy of the law. What do you mean, therefore, by teaching another not to steal, when you, in the depths of your heart, are a thief and would be one outwardly too, if you dared. (Of course, outward work doesn’t last long with such hypocrites.) So then, you teach others but not yourself; you don’t even know what you are teaching. You’ve never understood the law rightly. Furthermore, the law increases sin, as St. Paul says in chapter 5. That is because a person becomes more and more an enemy of the law the more it demands of him what he can’t possibly do.
    272]a Scripture, moreover, has predicted that the righteousness of faith would be obscured in this way by human traditions and the doctrine of works:
    Gal. 4:9: 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
    Gal. 5:7ff: 7 gYou were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
    Col. 2:88: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ.
    Col 2:16ff: Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
    1 Tim. 4:2ff: 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
    Paul often complains that there were even at that time those who, instead of the righteousness of faith, taught that men were reconciled to God and justified by their own works and own acts of worship, and not by faith for Christ’s sake.
    This is because all men 273] judge by nature that God ought to be appeased by works.
    The Divine Law written in Reason cannot see a righteousness other than the righteousness of the Law, understood in a civil sense.
    This is why there have always existed in the world some who have taught this carnal righteousness alone to the exclusion of the righteousness of faith. Teachers like this will also always exist.
    274] The same happened among the people of Israel. The greater part of the people thought that they merited remission of sins by their works. They accumulated sacrifices and acts of worship.
    On the contrary, the prophets, in condemnation of this opinion, taught the righteousness of faith.
    The occurrences among the people of Israel are illustrations of those things which 275] were to occur in the Church.
    14]a From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost.
    15] We, therefore, profess that it is necessary that the Law be begun in us, and that it be observed continually more and more. And at the same time we comprehend both spiritual movements and external good works.
    [We then begin to keep the entire Law by] the good heart within [First Table: true fear, love and trust] and [First and Second Table] works without.

  28. And here is the text of the Luther sermon that our Lutheran Article on the third use of the law references for a further explanation of what we Lutherans mean by talking about the new man and the old Adam….

    Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity
    Text: Ephesians 4, 22-28.
    22 That ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. 25 Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need.
    DUTY TO NEW AND OLD MAN.
    1. Here again is an admonition for Christians to follow up their faith by good works and a new life, for though they have forgiveness of sins through baptism, the old Adam still adheres to their flesh and makes himself felt in tendencies and desires to vices physical and mental. The result is that unless Christians offer resistance, they will lose their faith and the remission of sins and will in the end be worse than they were at first; for they will begin to despise and persecute the Word of God when corrected by it. Yea, even those who gladly hear the Word of God, who highly prize it and aim to follow it, have daily need of admonition and encouragement, so strong and tough is that old hide of our sinful flesh. And so powerful and wily is our old evil foe that wherever he can gain enough of an opening to insert one of his claws, he thrusts in his whole self and will not desist until he has again sunk man into his former condemnable unbelief and his old way of despising and disobeying God.
    2. Therefore, the Gospel ministry is necessary in the Church, not only for instruction of the ignorant—such as the simple, unlettered people and the children —but also for the purpose of awakening those who know very well what they are to believe and how they are to live, and admonishing them to be on their guard daily and not to become indolent, disheartened or tired in the war they must wage on this earth with the devil, with their own flesh and with all manner of evil.
    3. For this reason Paul is so persistent in his admonitions that he actually seems to be overdoing it. He proceeds as if the Christians were either too dull to comprehend or so inattentive and forgetful that they must be reminded and driven. The apostle well knows that though they have made a beginning in faith and are in that state which should show the fruits of faith, such result is not so easily forthcoming. It will not do to think and say: Well, it is sufficient to have the doctrine, and if we have the Spirit and faith, then fruits and good works will follow of their own accord. For although the Spirit truly is present and, as Christ says, willing and effective in those that believe, on the other hand the flesh is weak and sluggish. Besides, the devil is not idle, but seeks to seduce our weak nature by temptations and allurements.
    4. So we must not permit the people to go on in their way, neglecting to urge and admonish them, through God’s Word, to lead a godly life. Indeed, you dare not be negligent and backward in this duty; for, as it is, our flesh is all too sluggish to heed the Spirit and all too able to resist it. Paul says (Gal 5, 17): “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh … that ye may not do the things that ye would.” Therefore, God is constrained to do as a good and diligent householder or ruler, who, having a slothful man-servant or maid-servant, or careless officers, who otherwise are neither wicked nor faithless, will not consider it sufficient once or twice to direct, but will constantly be supervising and directing.
    5. Nor have we as yet arrived at the point where our flesh and blood will joyfully and gladly abound in good works and obedience to God as the spirit is inclined and faith directs. Even with the utmost efforts the Spirit scarce can compel our old man. What would be the result if we were no more urged and admonished but could go our way thinking, as many self-satisfied persons do: I am well acquainted with my duties, having learned them many years ago and having heard frequent explanations of them; yea, I have taught others? It might be that one year’s intermission of preaching and admonition would place us below the level of the heathen.
    6. Now, this exhortation in itself is simple and easy of comprehension. The apostle is but repeating his exhortations of other places—on the fruits of faith, or a godly walk—merely in different terms. Here he speaks of putting away the old man and putting on the new man, of being “renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
    “THE OLD MAN.”
    7. What he calls “the old man” is well known to us; namely, the whole nature of man as descended from Adam after his fall in paradise, being blinded by the devil, depraved in soul, not keeping God before his eyes nor trusting him, yes, utterly regardless of God and the judgment day. Though with his mouth he may honor God’s Word and the Gospel, yet in reality he is unchanged; if he does have a little additional knowledge, he has just as little fear, love and trust in God as heretofore.
    8. Such a life and such conduct should not be found among you, says the apostle; you are not to continue with “the old man.” He must be put off and laid aside. Your former manner of life, inherited of Adam, consisted in disobeying God, in neither fearing, trusting nor calling upon him. Again, in your body you obeyed not God’s commandments, being given to lust, pride, insatiable greed, envy, hatred, etc. A life and walk of this nature is not becoming a Christian who is regarded as, and truly is, a different order of being from his former self, as we shall hear. Necessarily he should walk differently.
    9. In this respect a Christian must take heed that he does not deceive himself; the true Christian differs from the hypocrite. True Christians so live that it is apparent from their lives that they keep God before their eyes and truly believe the Gospel, while hypocrites likewise show by their walk that their pretensions of faith and forgiveness of sin are hollow. No proof is seen in their lives and works showing that they have in any wise mended their former ways; they merely deck themselves with a pretense, with the name of Gospel, of faith, of Christ.
    10. Now, the apostle has two things to say of the old man: that he corrupts himself in error as to the soul and in lusts as to the body. Paul portrays the old man— meaning every man without true faith though he bear the name of a Christian—as in the first place given to error: coming short of the truth, knowing naught of the true knowledge of Christ and faith in him, indifferent alike to God’s wrath and God’s grace, deceiving himself with his own conceit that darkness is light. The old man believes that God will not be moved to vengeance though he do as he pleases, even to decorating vices with the names of virtues. Haughtiness, greed, oppressing and tormenting the poor, wrath, envy—all this he would call preserving his dignity, exercising strict discipline, honestly and economically conducting his domestic affairs, caring for his wife and children, displaying Christian zeal and love of justice, etc. In short, he proceeds in the perfectly empty delusion and self-conceit that he is a Christian.
    11. Out of this error proceeds the other corruption, the lusts of the body, which are fruits of unbelief. Unbelief causes men to walk in sinful security and yield to all the appetites of their flesh. Such have no inclination toward what is good, nor do they aim to promote orderliness, honor or virtue. They take desperate chances on their lives, wanting to live according to the lusts of their flesh and yet not be reprimanded.
    12. This, says the apostle, is the old man’s course and nature. He will do naught but ruin himself. The longer continued, the greater his debasement. He draws down upon himself his own condemnation and penalty for body and soul; for in proportion as he becomes unbelieving and hard-hearted, does he become haughty, hateful and faithless, and eventually a perfect scoundrel and villain. This was your former manner of life, when as yet you were heathen and non-Christians. Therefore you must by all means put off the old man and cast him far from you; otherwise you cannot remain a Christian. For glorying in the grace of God and the forgiveness of sin is inconsistent with following sin—remaining in the former old un-Christian life and walking in error and deceitful lusts.
    THE GROWTH OF “THE NEW MAN.”
    “And that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”
    13. Having put away the old man, the apostle exhorts us further to put on the new man, that day by day we may grow as new creatures. This is effected by first being delivered from error—from the erroneous thoughts and ideas incident to our corrupt nature with its false conceptions of God, wherein we do not fear nor believe him—and then from God’s Word receiving the right understanding of him.
    When we rightly understand, we shall fear his wrath against sin and rely on his grace in true faith, believing that he will forgive our sins for Christ’s sake and will hear our prayer for strength and assistance to withstand and conquer, and to continually grow in faith.
    14. This change Paul calls being “renewed in the spirit of your mind”; that is, constantly growing and becoming established in that true conception and clear knowledge of Christ begun in us, in opposition to error and idle vaporings. He who is thus received, says the apostle, is a man “that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” In the old man there is naught but error, by means of which the devil leads to destruction. But the new man has the Spirit and the truth, by which the heart is illumined unto righteousness and holiness, wherein man follows the guidance of God’s Word and feels a desire for a godly walk and good life; just as, on the other hand, the desire and love for sin and wickedness is the product of error. This new man is created after God, as an image of God, and must of necessity differ from such as live in error and in lusts, without the knowledge of God and disobedient to him. For if God’s image is in man, man must consequently have the right knowledge of God and right conceptions and ideas, and lead a godly life consistent with holiness and righteousness as found in God himself.
    15. Such an image of God Adam was when first created. He was, as to the soul, truthful, free from error, and possessed of true faith and knowledge of God; and as to the body, holy and pure, that is, without the impure, unclean desires of avarice, lasciviousness, envy, hatred, etc. And all his children—all men—would have so remained from their birth if he had not suffered himself to be led astray by the devil and to be thus ruined. But since Christians, by the grace and Spirit of God, now have been renewed to this image of God, they are so to live that soul and spirit are righteous and pleasing to God through faith in Christ; and that also the body— meaning the whole external life—be pure and holy, which is genuine holiness.
    16. Some there are who pretend to great holiness and purity, but it is mere pretense, deceiving the people in general. Such are the factious spirits and monastic saints, who base their holiness and uprightness solely on an external, peculiar life and on self-elected works. Theirs may be apparently a commendable, holy and pure way of praying and fasting, of denying self, etc., and the people may call it so; but inwardly they are and remain haughty, venomous, hateful, filled with the filth of human lust and evil thoughts, as Christ says of such. Mt 15, 19; Lk 16, 15. Likewise their righteousness on which they pride themselves before God has a certain gloss, on the strength of which they presume to merit the grace of God for themselves and others; but inwardly they have no true conception of God, being in rank unbelief, that is, false and vain suppositions, or doubts. Such righteousness, or holiness, is not true nor honest. It is made up wholly of hypocrisy and deceit. It is built, not of God nor after God, but after that lying spirit, the devil.
    17. The true Christian, Paul asserts, has been molded through faith in Christ into a new man, like unto God, truly justified and holy in his sight; even as Adam originally was in perfect harmony of heart with God, showing true, straightforward confidence, love and willingness. And his body was holy and pure, knowing naught of evil, impure or improper desire. Thus the whole life of the man was a beautiful portrait of God, a mirror wherein God himself was reflected; even as the lives and natures of the holy spirits the angels are wrapped up in God and represent true knowledge of him, assurance, and joy in him and utterly pure and holy thoughts and works according to the will of God.
    18. But since man is now so grievously fallen from this cheerful confidence, this certainty and joy, into doubts or into presumption toward God, and from unspotted, noble obedience into the lusts of iniquity and ungodliness, it follows that not from mankind can come help or relief. Nor can any one hope for remedy except the Christians, who through faith in Christ begin again to have a joyful and confident heart toward God. They thus enter again into their former relation and into the true paradise of perfect harmony with God and of justification; they are comforted by his grace. Accordingly they are disposed to lead a godly life in harmony with God’s commandments and to resist ungodly lusts and ways. These begin to taste God’s goodness and loving kindness, as Paul says, and realize what they lost in paradise. He, therefore, that would be a Christian should strive to be found in this new man created after God; not in blind error and vain conceit, but in the very essence of righteousness and holiness before God.
    TWO CLASSES OF SINS.
    “Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.”
    19. Lest there might be one who failed to understand the meaning of the old and the new man, or of true and false righteousness and holiness, the apostle now proceeds to give an example or two, making it easier for us to grasp the idea. All sin comes under one of two classes: First, that of the devil’s own making, such as murder and deceit; for by lies he establishes all idolatry, error, false faith and holiness, and among men he creates faithlessness, deceit, malice, etc. Secondly, those sins which he instigates man to commit against man; deeds of wrath, hatred, vengeance and murder. Paul combines these two classes.
    20. Now, when a man does not deal fairly with his neighbor, but practices dishonesty and deceit, be it in matters spiritual or temporal (and the world is ever deceitful in all transactions), then certainly the old man holds sway and not righteousness nor holiness, however much the man may effect a good appearance and evade the courts. For such conduct does not reflect God’s image, but the devil’s. For the heart does not rely on God and his truth, otherwise it would war with fraud and deception; but its object is to clothe itself with a misleading garb, even assuming the name of God, and thus to deceive, belie, betray and forsake its neighbor at the bidding of every fiendish whim, and all for the satisfaction of its avarice, selfishness and pride.
    21. In contrast thereto you can recognize the new man. He speaks the truth and hates lies, not only those momentous lies against the first table of the Ten Commandments, but also those against the second table; for he deals faithfully and in a brotherly way with others, doing as he would be done by himself. Thus should Christians live with each other, as members of one body, according to the apostle, and as having in Christ all things common and alike.
    “Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
    22. Half the sins which the world has learned of its lord and master, the devil, consist in lying and deceiving, and that in the name and appearance of truth. No one wants to be called a liar, and even the devil covers his lies with the name of truth. The other half, which is easier to recognize, consists in wrath and its fruits. And this class is usually the result of the other. The world, for its own advantage, lies and deceives; and when it sees mankind acting in opposition to its wishes, or beholds its lies exposed and its schemes thwarted, it begins to rage in wrath against God, endeavoring to avenge itself and inflict harm, but fraudulently disguising its wicked motive under the plea of having good and abundant reasons for its action.
    23. Therefore Paul admonishes the Christians as new creatures, to guard against this vice of wrath, adducing the fourth verse of the fourth Psalm: “Stand in awe and sin not.” The repetition of this passage sounds, in Paul’s rendering, as if permission to be angry were given; he says: “Be ye angry, and sin not.” But Paul is taking into consideration the way of the world. Men are tempted and moved to anger. There are no clean records. Under sudden provocation the heart swells with ire, while the devil busily fans the flame; for he is ever alert to stamp upon us his seal and image and make us like unto him, either through error and false doctrine, or through wrath and murder in conflict with love and patience. These two forms of evil you will encounter, especially if you make an effort to be a godly Christian, to defend the truth and to live uprightly in the sight of all. You will meet with all manner of malice aforethought and deceit, and with faithlessness and malignity on the part of those you have benefited; again, with unmasked violence and injustice on the part of those who should protect you and see to your interests. This will hurt and move you to wrath. Yea, in your own house and among your dear Christian brethren you will often meet with that which vexes you; again, a word of yours may hurt their feelings. And it will not be otherwise. This life of ours is so constituted that such conditions must be. Flesh and blood cannot but be stirred at times by wrath and impatience, especially when it receives evil for good; and the devil is ever at hand kindling your anger and endeavoring to fan into a blaze the wrath and ill humor between yourself and your neighbor.
    24. But right here, says the apostle, you should beware and not sin; not give rein, nor yield to the impulse and promptings of wrath. That you may indeed be moved, the apostle would say, I well know, and you may fancy to have the best of reasons for exhibiting anger and vengeance; but beware of doing what your wrath would have you do: and if overcome by wrath and led to rashness, do not continue in it, do not harbor it, but subdue and restrain it, the sooner the better; do not suffer it to take root or to remain with you over night.
    25. If followed, wrath will not suffer you to do a single right thing, as James affirms (ch. 1, 20). It causes man to fall and sin against God and his neighbor. Even the heathen have seen that wrath gets the better of reason and is never the source of good counsel. In line with this, we read that St. Ambrose reproved the emperor Theodosius for having, while in a rage, caused the execution of many persons in Thessalonica; and that he succeeded in having the emperor issue a rescript to the effect that no one should be executed, even on his imperial order and command, until a full month had passed by, thus affording an opportunity to rescind the order if given in haste and wrath.
    26. Therefore the Psalm says: When wrath attacks and moves you, do not at once give it leave to do its will. Therein you would certainly commit sin. But go into your chamber, commune and take counsel with yourself, pray the Lord’s Prayer, repeat some good passages from God’s Word, curb yourself and confide in God; he will uphold your rights.
    27. It is this the apostle has in mind when saying: “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” A Christian must not entertain wrath; he should instantly quench and stifle it. It is the part of the new man to control anger, that the devil may not move him from his new-found faith and make him lose what he has received. If he yields to these instigations of his flesh, he thereby returns to the error and condemnation in the old man and loses control of himself, following his own desires. Then he adorns a lie with the appearance of truth, claiming the right to be angry and take revenge; just as the world does when it asserts: This fellow has done me infinite violence and injustice; am I to suffer it? I have a just cause and shall not recline my head in ease until he is repaid! By such talk it loses its case before both God and men; as the saying goes: He that strikes back has the most unjust cause.
    28. Both divine and human justice forbids that a man be judge in his own case. For this very reason God has established governmental and judicial authority, in his stead to punish transgressions, which—when properly administered—is not man’s but God’s judgment. He therefore that invades such judgment, invades the authority of God himself; he commits a double wrong and merits double condemnation. If you desire to seek and obtain redress in the courts, you are at liberty to do so, provided you proceed in the proper way, at the proper place and with those to whom God has entrusted authority. To these authorities you may appeal for redress. If you obtain it according to law, well and good; if not, you must suffer wrong and commit your case to God, as we have explained more fully elsewhere.
    29. In short, we find in this unique passage a statement to the effect that he who curbs not his wrath but retains it longer than a day, or over night, cannot be a Christian. Where then do they stand who entertain wrath and hatred indefinitely, for one, two, three, seven, ten years? Such is no longer human wrath but fiendish wrath from hell; it will not be satisfied nor extinguished, but when it once takes possession of a man he would, if able, destroy everything in a moment with his hellish fire. Even so the arch-fiend is not satisfied with having cast the whole human race into sin and death, but will not rest content unless he can drag all human beings into eternal damnation.
    30. A Christian therefore has ample cause to carefully guard against this vice. God may have patience with you when wrath wells up in your heart—although that, too, is sinful—but take heed that wrath does not overcome you and cause you to fall. Rather take serious counsel with yourself and extinguish and expel your anger by applying passages of Holy Writ and calling upon your faith. When alone or about to retire, repeat the Lord’s Prayer, ask for forgiveness and confess that God daily forgives you much oftener than your neighbor sins against you.
    “Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need.”
    31. This thought is brought out also in the next Epistle, namely, that a Christian should guard against giving offense to anybody by his life, lest God’s name be blasphemed. It is a grand thing to be a Christian, who, as has been stated, is a new man created after God and a true image of God, wherein God himself desires to be reflected. Therefore, whatever of good a Christian does, or whatever of evil he does, under the name of a Christian, either honors or disgraces God’s name. Now, says Paul, whenever you follow your lusts, in obedience to your old Adam, you do naught but give occasion to the slanderers—the devil and his troop—to blaspheme the name of God. For the devil, even without your assistance, at all times seeks opportunity—nor can he desist—to befoul our dear Gospel and the name of God with his slanderous tales, composed, if need be, entirely of lies. But where he finds the semblance of occasion he knows how to profit by it. He will then open his mouth wide and cry: Behold, these are your Gospel people! Here you have the fruits of this new doctrine! Is their Christ such a one as they honor by their lives?
    32. So then a Christian should be exceedingly careful and cautious for this reason, if for no other: to protect the name and honor of his dear God and Saviour and not to do the devil the favor of letting him whet his slanderous tongue on Christ’s name. How shall we stand and answer in his sight when we cannot deny the fact that our life gives just cause for complaint and offense? By such a life we intentionally bring disgrace and shame upon God’s name and Word, which things should be our highest treasures and most valuable possessions.
    33. When the apostle says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need,” he indicates the true fruit of repentance, which consists in abandoning and utterly abstaining from evil and in doing good. He at the same time attacks and reproves the sin of theft so common in all walks of life. And them who idle away their time and neglect their duty of serving and helping their fellowbeings, he calls—and rightfully—thieves in God’s sight.
    34. For the right interpretation of the commandment, Thou shalt not steal, is this: Thou shalt live of thine own work, that thou mayest have to give to the needy. This is your bounden duty, and if you do not so God will pronounce you not a Christian but a thief and robber. In the first place, because you are an idler and do not support yourself, but live by the sweat and toil of others; in the second place, because you withhold from your neighbor what you plainly owe him. Where now shall we find those who keep this commandment? Indeed, where should we dare look for them except where no people live? But such a class of people should Christians be. Therefore, let each of us beware lest he deceive himself; for God will not be mocked nor deceived. Gal 6, 7.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30619/30619-h/30619-h.htm#serm22

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.