Search This Blog

Sunday, March 16, 2014

LDJ–1859/1880-Part 3 (Section B- pages 6-8)

This continues from the previous Part 2 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  Others have presented translations of Walther's writings, but if this teaching of his is passed over or is ignored, it is all for nothing, because Walther spoke from a Christian heart... like Martin Luther.  How refreshing it is to hear Walther repeat the Reformation heart of Luther, not only from his famous commentary on the book of Galatians, but from several other writings.  One quote from this section:
When this article [of justification] regarding our soul’s salvation will be taken and kept with certainty and firmness of faith, so other articles come and follow naturally afterwards, as of the Trinity.
Walther here highlights the centrality of ... The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification -- for all Christian teaching!  So if the doctrine of the Trinity follows naturally afterwards from it, so must also the teaching of Christology.
Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.
Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.
Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Section B: Pages 6-8 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Section A [1880-6])
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]
Again, on  Is. 42:22:  “Therefore one should diligently study the article of justification, which we alone teach nowadays, and hold fast to it. Because if we have lost this, we would no heresy, no false doctrine, though they were ever so ridiculous and trifling, be able to withstand, as it has gone under the Pope, as we have believed such things, which we are now ashamed, and we repent. Again, if we stay in this article, so we are safe from heresy, and retain the forgiveness of sins that holds benefit for our  weakness in conversion and faith.”  (Walch W1, VI, 827, paragr. 44; StL Ed. 6, 521, pargr. 44; not in Am. Ed.)
Further, in his Table Talk:  “This is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine , namely, how we are to be saved. On this should all theological disputations look to and be judged; on this the prophets have all been driven by the most until they were blue.  Because when this article regarding our soul’s salvation will be taken and kept with certainty and firmness of faith, so other articles come and follow naturally afterwards, as of the Trinity.  Also has our God no article so publicly and clearly explained than this, namely that we are saved by Christ alone. Although he has also said much of the Trinity, yet he has always on this article, on the souls’ salvation, deigned. It probably is also that on others are many related, but on this is most of all related; for on that account are all the works of the papists instituted and conducted that they might thereby obtain eternal salvation. But they are deceived because without Christ there is no salvation, which one can apprehend and grasp alone through faith in the Word. Where this article remains pure, so the church keeps pure, but where it is distorted, or falls,  [1880-7] so the church has been a whore, as we have seen and experienced in the Papacy.   (Walch W1 XXII, 751-752; StL Ed. 22, 475-476, section 52; not in Am. Ed.)
In the introduction to his Exposition on the Letter to the Galatians [1535] Luther writes:  “If the article which teaches how one becomes sinless and righteous before God is lost, so goes there all of Christian doctrine with it, and all mankind, the people on earth not having this doctrine, must be either Jews or Turks, papists or schismatics (Rotten) or heretics.... Through this doctrine alone is sacred Christendom both planted, and built and preserved.” (Walch W1 VIII, 1552—53, paragrs 19 & 22;  cf. StL Ed. 9, cols. 24-25, paragrphs 19 & 22; [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 9 f.])
On Gal. 2:16: “As soon as we lose this sun, we shall surely turn back into darkness where we had been before.” (Walch W1 VIII, 1832, paragr. 209; StL Ed. 9, col. 186, paragr. 209; [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 136])
On Gal. 2:11:  “St. Paul is not concerned here with a very insignificant thing, nor how one should earn his bread, but of the chief article of Christian doctrine, so central that if it is correctly understood and viewed, one would gladly forget and sacrifice everything else. For what is Peter? What is Paul? What is an angel from heaven? What are all creatures compared to this article which teaches whereby and how one can become free from sin, and righteous and blessed before God? Should we understand this doctrine in its truth and purity, so have we the true celestial Sun; but if we lose it, then we have nothing [W1859-14]  other than utter hellish darkness. Therefore, if you note that someone is diluting and putting down this doctrine, do not hesitate to resist such a person, even though it be Peter or Paul or even an angel from heaven; because one can never sufficiently lift up and defend this doctrine.” (Walch W1 VIII, 1769, paragr. 102; StL Ed. 9, 147-148, paragr. 102; [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 106])
On Gal. 4:29: “Therefore should one before all things teach this article, how one must through faith in Christ become righteous before God; it [1880-8] alone can support and preserve us against all scandals, thereto comforting us in all kinds of trials and persecution.” (Walch W1 VIII, col. 2562-2563, paragr. 333; StL Ed. 9, cols. 590-591, paragr. 333; [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 453])
On Gal. 3:13: “Therefore should one, as I often admonish, with all diligence master the article that Christ, God’s Son, became man, so that for our sake He suffered, was crucified, died, etc. Since in this one article all other doctrines of our faith are contained; if this doctrine is pure and firm, then all the others will likewise be sound. Therefore, when we teach that people become just through Christ, that Christ has overcome sin, death, and the everlasting curse, we also then are teaching that He is by nature right and true God.” (Walch W1 VIII, col. 2180, paragr. 347; cf. StL Ed. 9, col. 376, paragr. 347; [cf. Am. Ed. 26, 283])
On John 6:53: “Remember during your entire life that all depends on this doctrine. I repeat this so often, and it cannot be overdone, so that this doctrine may be preserved and that we may faithfully retain this faith in the forgiveness of sin and in redemption from death and devil through Christ’s flesh. Wherever this doctrine remains in the pulpit, there is no danger from any heretics or errors. This doctrine does not tolerate any error near it. There the Holy Spirit is also present, and those who believe this will tolerate no error. But if people are misled, it is a certain indication that they [Essays1-33]  have misunderstood this doctrine. If they had comprehended it correctly, they would not have been duped.” (Walch W1 VII, col. 2107, paragr. 347; StL Ed. 7, 2346-7, paragr. 347; Am. Ed. 23, 137])
After Luther had shown that Psalm 117 deals with justification alone by faith, although many might not see it that way, he thus continues:  “My main reason for doing this is to move and instruct all who need it, [1880-9] to search out and deal with the core of our Christian doctrine, wherever it may be found throughout the Bible, …

= = = = = cont'd in next Section C = = = = = = = 
This is a masterful collection of quotations from Luther.  These statements of Luther are for all times, especially our modern times.  How I love to hear Luther speak.

The next Section C (Part 4) continues in the next blog, and shows more of where Luther found this doctrine in our Holy Scriptures...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.