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Sunday, April 6, 2014

LDJ–1859/1880-Part 13 (pages 36-38)—the Nose, the Monkey's Tail; A.W. Pink on Justification

This continues from the previous Part 12 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 13, Walther quote"s from Luther's laments against the "so-called Protestants".  He also brings in a quote of Zwingli to expose their teaching...

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.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 13: Pages 36-38 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 12)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]

[1880-36]  … The Anabaptists, what do they do, what do they teach? They say that Baptism is nothing;  they take away grace from Baptism, saying that it does not offer the grace and mercy of God, no forgiveness of sins; but only a sign, that you are devout, and you must be devout before, before you become baptized, etc., or that Baptism is a sign that you already have this godliness. They separate grace from Baptism and leave me a mere outward sign; there is no spark of grace, but have completely cut it out. When the grace of Christ is thus removed from Baptism, so remains only a work.  Also, in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper the Enthusiasts take away the promise offered there; saying it is bread and wine that you eat or drink. There also is the grace that is offered to us cut out and denied. For so they teach: ‘You are performing a good work just by confessing Christ alone; and if you only eat and drink the bread and wine in Communion, so must there be no grace.’  So it goes: When one breaks the First Commandment, he soon directs himself to an idol and a work on which he trusts. Therefore Moses says: ‘Dear children, take heed to yourselves that you remain faithful to God; follow Him, otherwise it is inevitable that you shall fall into idolatry,  you will inevitably fall into idolatry; [W1859-31] you cannot resist it yourself.’ For grace is constantly being attacked by the devil; no heresy can suffer the grace of God....  “Today’s Enthusiasts also all put forth the First Commandment saying: We also proclaim grace and mercy through Christ and do not reject the article of the First Commandment; and they say that I, Luther, lie about them. But see them out:  They confess that Christ died, that He hung on the cross and that He saves us, that is true; [1880-37] but they deny that by which we receive Him, i.e., the means, the way, the bridge and path, that they break up.  “The Jews also believe that there is a God, but the way by which one comes to God, namely through Christ, through Christ’s humanity, that they deny. The Turks also confess God, but deny the way, the means, the bridge on which one comes to God, that is the grace of God, Christ will they not have,  also no sacraments by which one enters a state of grace. It is just as if I would preach to someone: Here I have a treasure; and nevertheless did not hold out to him in front of his nose the treasure, also did not give the keys thereto, what would this help him to this treasure? They lock up this treasure which they should set before the nose, and swing me on a monkey’s tail: the access and presentation, the usage and possession of the treasure they refuse and take from me.  Therefore the Enthusiasts speak much about God, about the forgiveness of sins and the grace of God, also that Christ died: but how I can receive Christ and how grace comes to me, so that I might receive them, that we come together, on this they say: the Spirit alone must do it;  they swing me on a monkey’s tail: saying that the outward and spoken Word, Baptism, and the Sacrament are of no use, and yet they preach about grace.”  (*) [W1859-32]
*) So writes e.g.  Zwingli, in his Augsburg Confession: “I believe, yes know, that all sacraments, far from imparting grace, cannot even transmit or administer it. This may strike you, Mightiest Emperor, as being too bold. But that is my position. Since grace is produced and given by the Holy Spirit (I am using the word ‘grace’ in the Latin sense, designating forgiveness, clemency, and gracious favor), therefore the aforementioned gift is received only from the Spirit. But the Spirit has no need of a driver or a wagon, for He Himself is the Power and the Bearer by whom all [things] are carried, He [Himself] having no need of being carried.     “We have never read in Holy Writ that material things, such as the sacraments, unfailingly bring the Spirit with them. Instead, whenever material things did accompany the Spirit,...  [cont’d on 1880-38 footnote]

[1880-38] [W1859-32]  That calls me to show the treasure and speaks well of it;  but the key and the bridge to how I can come to the treasure are taken away.  Now God has so ordered it that this treasure is given and presented to us through Baptism, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and the external Word.  Those are the means and instruments by which we come to God’s grace.  That they deny.  I say this because the devil is quick and confesses these words, but he denies the means by which we come to the treasure, that is, they do not deny the treasure but the usage and profit of the treasure; they take away and deprive us of the manner, the means, and the way we come to this treasure and enjoy it, and how we should and may attain to grace.  You must, they say, have the Spirit; but how I can have the Spirit, that is what they will not let me have.  Now,
[cont’d from 1880-37 footnote] … the Spirit who brought nonmaterial gifts was already present. So, for example, when a mighty wind blew, the gift of tongues accompanied it, being brought by the wind, not the languages bringing the wind.... In short, the wind blows where it wills, i.e., the wind blows as is its nature, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is going. That is how it is with everyone born of the Spirit, i.e., he is enlightened and given insight in an invisible and nonmaterial manner. That is the truth.   [Essays1-43]  The grace of the Spirit is therefore not imparted by this immersion, nor by this drinking of wine, nor by that anointing with oil. For if that were the case, one would know how, where, whereto, and whereby the Spirit was being imparted. For if the presence and efficacy of grace were tied to the sacraments, they would work wherever they are brought; where they were not being used, everything would wilt away.  From this we conclude—which in the case of the sacraments I’m willing and glad to agree to—that the sacraments are given as a public sign of that grace which each individual has in advance. So Baptism is given by the church to the person who, without prior Baptism, either confessed the religion of Christ or already had the word of promise, from which it is evident that he belongs to the church.  The church therefore accepts such a person publicly in Baptism, [recognizing that] he had previously been received by grace. So it is not Baptism that confers grace, but it witnesses to the church that grace was previously received by him to whom [the Baptism] is administered. I believe, therefore, O Emperor, that the sacrament is a sign of a holy thing, i.e., of received grace, etc. (See Cyprian’s Condensed Instruction Concerning Union of Churches, Appendix, pp. 19-22)  [Endnote L]

[1880-39] how can I be overcome by the Spirit and believe,...

= = = = = cont'd in next Part 14 = = = = = = = 
An example of what Luther refers to when he said the sects also speak of "grace" is represented by A.W. Pink.  The Reformed, especially the Calvinist sects (conservative Reformed, some Baptists, etc.), recommend a book by author Arthur (A.W.) Pink titled "The Doctrine of Justification".  A light reading of this might cause one to think that he seems to follow Luther, but a closer reading shows a limitation on Luther's pure teachinga caveat that completely overthrows Luther's Reformation (see here):
It is through Christ and His atonement that the justice and mercy of God, His righteousness and grace, meet in the justifying of a believing sinner.
Only a "believing sinner"?  What if a poor sinner is afraid to think that he is included with those who are "believing sinners"?...  Then Pink says this (here):
Justification, strictly speaking, consists in God’s imputing to His elect the righteousness of Christ,...
" His elect"?  Again, what is the poor sinner to think if he is not sure that he is included with those who are of "His elect"?  We see that Arthur Pink was a "strict Calvinist" with his teaching of "limited atonement".  Dear reader, do not be pulled in by any of the schismatic, fanatical, factious sect churches, those in the Reformed churches... even by those who would seem the most eloquent such as Arthur Pink.  Do not be deceived by even the most conservative of the Reformed (or CPH editor Rev. Charles P. Schaum), they are still sects, for they have erred on this doctrine... here is where the Lutheran Difference is... and Martin Luther is the ONLY Reformer of the church.

In the next Part 14...

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