Melanchthon on Abrogation of the Law

From Melanchthon’s Loci Communes of 1519,

Therefore when we discuss the abrogation of the Law, we must concern ourselves with the question to what extent the Gospel has abrogated the Decalogue, rather than with the fact that ceremonies and judicial laws have been abolished. For from the abrogation of the Decalogue the fullness of grace can be known most intimately, since it proves that those who believe are saved apart from the Law’s demands and with no regard for our works. Therefore, the Law has been abolished, not so that it may not be kept, but so that it may not condemn when it is not kept, and also so that it can be kept.

Here Philip Melanchthon is discussing the differences between the old and new testaments, taking  Romans and Jeremiah 31 as the basic texts. The Law given to the Israelites consisted of the traditional three parts: judicial, ceremonial, and moral (Decalogue). When discussing Christian freedom during the time of the Reformation, Roman Catholic writers only spoke of the judicial and the ceremonial aspects. Melanchthon here differs, citing evidence from Peter in Acts 15 as well, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” Peter is speaking of the moral law as well, because those simple ceremonies of sacrifice were no yoke and burden, they were in fact incredibly easy to do. But willingly doing those ceremonies from the heart, along with perfect love of God and neighbor, was the impossible thing. In the New Testament, only the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus saves us. Through Baptism in his saving death and resurrection we are given His Holy Spirit so that we can willingly do from the heart all that is pleasing to God.

The Law serves to show the will of God, but the Spirit gives the power to walk in it, not with concern to threats, but from a willing heart out of thanksgiving to God. Yet we are sinners, and in so far as we do not believe the Gospel, we do things begrudgingly desiring others to admire and praise us. Focusing on our own selves is never the goal of good works.  Hence Paul in Romans 7, “Wretched man that I am who will deliver from this body of death. 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.” The Spirit is at work through the Word of the Gospel to restore our corrupted humanity that we would fear, love and trust in God and willingly do good we ought, all the while crucifying the old man in us through daily repentance and faith.

Translated by Christian Preus. CPH 2014

CyberBrethren – A Lutheran Blog

The Rev. Paul T. McCain over at the CyberBrethren blog succinctly summarized the Christian life in the words of Martin Luther.

Because you have taken hold of Christ by faith, through whom you are righteous, you should now go and love God and your neighbor. Call upon God, give thanks to Him, preach Him, praise Him, confess Him. Do good to your neighbor, and serve him; do your duty. These are truly good works, which flow from this faith and joy conceived in the heart because we have the forgiveness of sins freely through Christ.

No longer must we worry about appeasing God. We have His favor in the sacrifice of Christ. His promises are sure and certain. There is no more fear of sin, death, or the devil. So now we are free to do good works for our neighbor.

Life Update

It has definitely been a while since I last updated, so I will try to sum things up. I have been having a excellent time at school this past year. So many great experiences have come and gone, that hopefully I will never forget. I got a new computer, a Macbook, that I would call my greatest computer of all time. Much time has been spent with friends recently, I see myself trying to recapture some old friendships. I have come to terms now that they have ended and we are going in separate directions. Religious change has impacted much of my life at this point and have began to pursue and intimate relationship will the Lord. Please keep your religious comments to yourself (I know I am practically talking to myself because nobody reads this). I am going to try to update this once a week, so we will see how that goes.

New Car and Growing Up

I always thought about what my first car would be. I never thought about when it would be though. Just got my new car this past weekend. It is a white, 1996 Pontiac Firebird, and is in fantastic condition. Which got me thinking about my life and what I have gone through to get to this point. I have lived a relativly short life, only 16 years, and have witnessed so much change in the world and in my life. Looking back always makes me cry. Just wanted to get my thoughts out. May God bless everyone and may He open your eyes because our time is short.

My first car and me

My first car and me

My First Post

Hello, my name is Kyle. I am a student attending High School. I play video games and watch a lot of TV. My favorite show out now is Heroes. I guess I will be writing about different things that have happened to me and what I have learned on each day. This is mostly for me to let my ideas out of my head. You don’t have to read this if you don’t want to. So I guess that will be all.