The second use of the Law

Let’s do a series on God’s Law. . . .Last time we discussed the first use of the Law, the civil use.  The second is the theological use, the confrontation with God’s demands that makes us realize our sinfulness and our desperate need for the Gospel.

When we read a book, we might consider how we situate ourselves as readers.  That is, in the case of a novel, whom do we identify with?  What side of the conflict do we see ourselves on?  Who is the good guy, who is the bad guy, and which are we?

In the reading the Bible, we tend to identify with the “good guys” and scorn the villains.  We can also situate ourselves as external observers, learning various truths from the text and gleaning useful lessons for our lives.  That’s well and good.  But to gain the most benefit from God’s Word we might situate ourselves differently.  Read the text so that it accuses you.  So that you recognize that you are the bad guy.  That the judgments against sinners apply to you.

When I read the Old Testament, with its seemingly odd prohibitions and harsh punishments, I see that all of the death penalties recorded in the old and superceded covenant are for things I have committed!  I have disobeyed my parents and so, by these standards, deserve to be stoned.  I have committed idolatry and so deserve to die the death.  I am Abihu, presuming to come into God’s holy presence on my own terms rather than His.  I am the wicked Canaanites.  I am the rebellious children of Israel.  I deserve the death penalty that I will eventually receive.

When I read the New Testament, I do not just learn about Jesus so that I can emulate Him and answer the question “what would Jesus do?”   I know I should do that, but in all honesty I find that His is a standard that staggers my best efforts.  When I read the Beatitudes, I realize that I am not poor in spirit or pure in heart or a peacemaker and that I am not blessed.

The Bible, read in this way, terrifies me.  But then in the Old Testament, my horror gives way to God’s constant and unmerited deliverance of His people, to the bloody charnel house that was the Temple with its sacrifices for sin, to the promises that God will send a Savior who will bear my iniquity and heal me with His stripes.  And then in the New Testament, my dismay at Christ’s example gives way to marveling at His work of Redemption and free forgiveness in His Cross and Resurrection. And I realize that He is poor in spirit and pure in heart and a peacemaker and that I am blessed after all in Him.

Sometimes I read the Bible–or hear it preached–in other ways, as information or as a learner, but I am always in need of repentance and of depending on Christ more and more.  So I am always in need of the second use of the Law.

(Any other insights or applications regarding the Second Use of the Law?)

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • ELB

    In the discussion of the three uses of the law it is imporant to remember that these are GOD’s uses, not ours. We cannot separate the law’s uses. For example, the marriage enrichment retreat I attend that is a “third use” showing how to live a Christian life is proclaiming law that still convicts me (second use) and still compels my obedience (first use).

    The law is good if rightly used (1 Timothy 1).

  • ELB

    In the discussion of the three uses of the law it is imporant to remember that these are GOD’s uses, not ours. We cannot separate the law’s uses. For example, the marriage enrichment retreat I attend that is a “third use” showing how to live a Christian life is proclaiming law that still convicts me (second use) and still compels my obedience (first use).

    The law is good if rightly used (1 Timothy 1).

  • Tom Hering

    I guess the three uses matter to preachers, but here on the receiving end, it all sounds the same. The Law is always telling me I’m not obeying it, or I’m not obeying it perfectly – and perfect obedience is what counts with God. No “E” for effort. Thankfully, I have a Savior whose perfect obedience is credited to me.

    I do find the Law to be good, though, insofar as it makes good and evil clear to me. I wouldn’t know the difference otherwise.

  • Tom Hering

    I guess the three uses matter to preachers, but here on the receiving end, it all sounds the same. The Law is always telling me I’m not obeying it, or I’m not obeying it perfectly – and perfect obedience is what counts with God. No “E” for effort. Thankfully, I have a Savior whose perfect obedience is credited to me.

    I do find the Law to be good, though, insofar as it makes good and evil clear to me. I wouldn’t know the difference otherwise.

  • kenneth

    The theological use of the law is how we get our salvation from God.
    And repentance must follow, really follow or or the third use of the law can bring no relief from the seemingly opressive first use, that is obdience to God’s prohibitions so that He can help us do as we need, according to His ways and ultimate plan..

    He longs to do as he promises with the condition of repentance. Take all of Jesus redemption for ourselves or nothing. Some choose nothing and that baffles the mind. It is sdaid we must pray for the lost as of yet.

  • kenneth

    The theological use of the law is how we get our salvation from God.
    And repentance must follow, really follow or or the third use of the law can bring no relief from the seemingly opressive first use, that is obdience to God’s prohibitions so that He can help us do as we need, according to His ways and ultimate plan..

    He longs to do as he promises with the condition of repentance. Take all of Jesus redemption for ourselves or nothing. Some choose nothing and that baffles the mind. It is sdaid we must pray for the lost as of yet.

  • http://enlivenonline.com Jason Barker

    This point is very important for all of us…but particularly for me. The second use of the Law obliterates my inclination towards “self-righteousness,” and shows me that the entire concept of such pseudo-righteousness is oxymoronic.

  • http://enlivenonline.com Jason Barker

    This point is very important for all of us…but particularly for me. The second use of the Law obliterates my inclination towards “self-righteousness,” and shows me that the entire concept of such pseudo-righteousness is oxymoronic.

  • fws

    8] 7. Now let´s talk about the revelation of sin and how God reveals it:

    The veil of Moses hangs before the eyes of all men as long as they hear the bare preaching of the Law, and nothing concerning Christ.

    Natural men therefore do not learn from the Law to perceive their sins aright. They either become presumptuous hypocrites who swell with the opinion of their own righteousness like the Pharisees; or they despair like Judas.

    Therefore Christ takes the Law into His hands, and explains it spiritually,

    Matt. 5:21ff
    21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable ato judgment.’ But I say to you that beveryone who is angry with his brother1 will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

    and

    Rom. 7:14. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I 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 it 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 For 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, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    This is how the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all sinners:

    Rom. 1:18 18 For the 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 known 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, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, 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.

    In this way they learn how great it is; by this means they are redirected and sent back to the Law, and then first learn from it to know aright their sins.

    This is a knowledge which Moses [preaching a Veiled Law] never could have forced out of them.

    9] An example of how this looks is that the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath. This preaching is the means whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them. This is preached so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe, and therefore are to seek all our righteousness in Christ:

    10] 8. Yet as long as all this (namely, Christ’s suffering and death) proclaims God’s wrath and terrifies man, it is still not properly the preaching of the Gospel. It is the preaching of Moses and the Law, and therefore a foreign work of Christ. Yet this is the way by which He arrives at His proper office, that is, to preach grace, console, and quicken, which is properly the preaching of the Gospel.

    http://bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#V. Law and Gospel

    and

    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-lawandgospel.php

  • fws

    8] 7. Now let´s talk about the revelation of sin and how God reveals it:

    The veil of Moses hangs before the eyes of all men as long as they hear the bare preaching of the Law, and nothing concerning Christ.

    Natural men therefore do not learn from the Law to perceive their sins aright. They either become presumptuous hypocrites who swell with the opinion of their own righteousness like the Pharisees; or they despair like Judas.

    Therefore Christ takes the Law into His hands, and explains it spiritually,

    Matt. 5:21ff
    21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable ato judgment.’ But I say to you that beveryone who is angry with his brother1 will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

    and

    Rom. 7:14. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I 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 it 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 For 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, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    This is how the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all sinners:

    Rom. 1:18 18 For the 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 known 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, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, 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.

    In this way they learn how great it is; by this means they are redirected and sent back to the Law, and then first learn from it to know aright their sins.

    This is a knowledge which Moses [preaching a Veiled Law] never could have forced out of them.

    9] An example of how this looks is that the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath. This preaching is the means whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them. This is preached so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe, and therefore are to seek all our righteousness in Christ:

    10] 8. Yet as long as all this (namely, Christ’s suffering and death) proclaims God’s wrath and terrifies man, it is still not properly the preaching of the Gospel. It is the preaching of Moses and the Law, and therefore a foreign work of Christ. Yet this is the way by which He arrives at His proper office, that is, to preach grace, console, and quicken, which is properly the preaching of the Gospel.

    http://bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#V. Law and Gospel

    and

    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-lawandgospel.php

  • Michael

    When I was younger, I was always taught in Sunday school that many of the laws of the Old Testament weren’t relevant after Jesus, and that only Pharisees attempted to follow all the laws. It was kind of a “devil is the the details” approach. Then I remember reading about how no one was permitted to touch the arc of the covenant, and one man touches it merely to stop it from falling, and God strikes him dead. In any event, this does not seem like the God I was taught in Sunday school.

  • Michael

    When I was younger, I was always taught in Sunday school that many of the laws of the Old Testament weren’t relevant after Jesus, and that only Pharisees attempted to follow all the laws. It was kind of a “devil is the the details” approach. Then I remember reading about how no one was permitted to touch the arc of the covenant, and one man touches it merely to stop it from falling, and God strikes him dead. In any event, this does not seem like the God I was taught in Sunday school.

  • fws

    The Veil of Moses:

    And Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15

    3 qAre we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, ras some do, sletters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 tYou yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our1 hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of uthe living God, not on vtablets of stone but on wtablets of xhuman hearts.2

    4 ySuch is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 zNot that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but aour sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be bministers of ca new covenant, not of dthe letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but ethe Spirit gives life.

    7 Now if fthe ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory gthat the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in hthe ministry of condemnation, ithe ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

    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, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato .

    (comment: ex opere operato means “by the performance of the work inself to satisfy the demand of the law”. This is exactly as one would keep and satisfy a civil law).

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html
    Luther´s Preface to his 1545 Translation of the Epistle to the Romans for more on this….

    14] But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., 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, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost…..

    It is, therefore, manifest that we require good works.

    20] Yea, we add also this, that it is impossible for love to God, even though it be small, to be sundered from faith.

    This is because through Christ we come to the Father, and the remission of sins having been received, we now are truly certain that we have a God, i.e., that God cares for us; we call upon Him, we give Him thanks, we fear Him, we love Him as 1 John 4:19 teaches: We love Him, because He first loved us.

    Namely [we love God only because we now trust that] He gave His Son for us, and forgave us our sins.

    Thus he indicates that faith precedes and love follows.

    21] Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in repentance.

    We mean by this that this faith 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.

    It is for this reason we assert that this faith 22] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them.

    Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8:1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too, Rom 8:12-13:

    We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    23] Wherefore, the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires, neither does it coexist with mortal sin.

    24] From these effects of faith the adversaries select one, namely, love, and teach that love justifies.

    (comment: the adversaries say that we are to do Good Works that are Love for the purpose of aiming to render the Obedience God demands of us.)

    Thus it is clearly apparent that they teach only the Law.

    They do not teach that remission of sins through faith is first received. They do not teach of Christ as Mediator, that for Christ’s sake we have a gracious God, but because of our love.

    (comment: They do not teach that THIS Obedience of Love or Good Works that God demands can only be done by the Works of Christ alone and not by our Obedience of Works that are love, not even our sanctified ones worked by the Holy Spirit).

    And yet, what the nature of this love is they do not say, neither 25] can they say.

    They proclaim that they fulfil the Law, although this glory belongs properly to Christ; and they set against the judgment of God confidence in their own works; for they say that they merit de condigno (according to the actual righteousness that happens in them in sanctification) grace and eternal life.

    This confidence is absolutely impious and vain.

    For in this life we cannot satisfy the Law.

    [Why not? ]

    This is because carnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions evil inclination and desire, even though the Spirit in us resists them.

    26] But some one may ask:

    Since we also confess that love is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies?

    (Paraphrased: Why don´t we teach then that we are to do works in order to be Obedient to God as our motive, aim and purpose for doing them?

    After all , we also confess that the Love and Good Works of a Christian are a work of The Holy Spirit and sanctification and is truly righteousness. We also teach that the Law of God demands this Obedience.)

    To this we must reply:….

    (comment: read the rest of the article here to see their response to this… http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

  • fws

    The Veil of Moses:

    And Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15

    3 qAre we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, ras some do, sletters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 tYou yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our1 hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of uthe living God, not on vtablets of stone but on wtablets of xhuman hearts.2

    4 ySuch is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 zNot that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but aour sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be bministers of ca new covenant, not of dthe letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but ethe Spirit gives life.

    7 Now if fthe ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory gthat the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in hthe ministry of condemnation, ithe ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

    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, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato .

    (comment: ex opere operato means “by the performance of the work inself to satisfy the demand of the law”. This is exactly as one would keep and satisfy a civil law).

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html
    Luther´s Preface to his 1545 Translation of the Epistle to the Romans for more on this….

    14] But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., 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, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost…..

    It is, therefore, manifest that we require good works.

    20] Yea, we add also this, that it is impossible for love to God, even though it be small, to be sundered from faith.

    This is because through Christ we come to the Father, and the remission of sins having been received, we now are truly certain that we have a God, i.e., that God cares for us; we call upon Him, we give Him thanks, we fear Him, we love Him as 1 John 4:19 teaches: We love Him, because He first loved us.

    Namely [we love God only because we now trust that] He gave His Son for us, and forgave us our sins.

    Thus he indicates that faith precedes and love follows.

    21] Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in repentance.

    We mean by this that this faith 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.

    It is for this reason we assert that this faith 22] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them.

    Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8:1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too, Rom 8:12-13:

    We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    23] Wherefore, the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires, neither does it coexist with mortal sin.

    24] From these effects of faith the adversaries select one, namely, love, and teach that love justifies.

    (comment: the adversaries say that we are to do Good Works that are Love for the purpose of aiming to render the Obedience God demands of us.)

    Thus it is clearly apparent that they teach only the Law.

    They do not teach that remission of sins through faith is first received. They do not teach of Christ as Mediator, that for Christ’s sake we have a gracious God, but because of our love.

    (comment: They do not teach that THIS Obedience of Love or Good Works that God demands can only be done by the Works of Christ alone and not by our Obedience of Works that are love, not even our sanctified ones worked by the Holy Spirit).

    And yet, what the nature of this love is they do not say, neither 25] can they say.

    They proclaim that they fulfil the Law, although this glory belongs properly to Christ; and they set against the judgment of God confidence in their own works; for they say that they merit de condigno (according to the actual righteousness that happens in them in sanctification) grace and eternal life.

    This confidence is absolutely impious and vain.

    For in this life we cannot satisfy the Law.

    [Why not? ]

    This is because carnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions evil inclination and desire, even though the Spirit in us resists them.

    26] But some one may ask:

    Since we also confess that love is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies?

    (Paraphrased: Why don´t we teach then that we are to do works in order to be Obedient to God as our motive, aim and purpose for doing them?

    After all , we also confess that the Love and Good Works of a Christian are a work of The Holy Spirit and sanctification and is truly righteousness. We also teach that the Law of God demands this Obedience.)

    To this we must reply:….

    (comment: read the rest of the article here to see their response to this… http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

  • Tom Hering

    This series is Frank bait. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    This series is Frank bait. :-D

  • fws

    elb @ 1

    Amen!

  • fws

    elb @ 1

    Amen!

  • http://ww.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Michael @6,
    Best cautionary tale against Sunday School I’ve heard in a long time…
    It may not be the God you were taught, but it should have been the God you were taught. He is not to be trifled with.
    I always like Psalm 130:4 when broaching this subject.
    “with you there is forgiveness, that you might be feared.” I think we tend to beleive that we shouldn’t fear God because he forgives. Yet, the psalmist believes that is precisely why you should fear him. If he is powerful enough to forgive… don’t mess with him.

  • http://ww.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Michael @6,
    Best cautionary tale against Sunday School I’ve heard in a long time…
    It may not be the God you were taught, but it should have been the God you were taught. He is not to be trifled with.
    I always like Psalm 130:4 when broaching this subject.
    “with you there is forgiveness, that you might be feared.” I think we tend to beleive that we shouldn’t fear God because he forgives. Yet, the psalmist believes that is precisely why you should fear him. If he is powerful enough to forgive… don’t mess with him.

  • fws

    kenneth @ 3

    The theological use of the law is how we get our salvation from God.

    I know what you mean but this is wrong. The Law always accuses and means our death. The Law IS our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but it does this by killing us. It cannot get us salvation. I know that is really what you mean brother.

    And repentance must follow… [or there can be no relief of conscience from the demands of the Law that consists of] obdience to God’s prohibitions so that He can help us do as we need, according to His ways and ultimate plan.

    Kenneth, this obedience to God´s Prohibitions is called Mortification, which is Latinate for “deathing”.

    The Law “deaths” us. Mortification is the Law in Action. It is what the Law does.

    But see if you can catch this distinction:

    This is what the Law aims to do IN us, but… it is not what the Law aims to produce OUT if us. So obedience to prohibitions is not the ultimate aim and purpose of the Law!

    And that is this:

    Both the Law AND the Gospel seek to produce the exact SAME Eternal Will of God.

    That eternal will is that Goodness and Mercy be done among men.
    Mercy, by definition, is ALWAYS undeserved!

    This is why Mortification without Goodness and mercy is called “sacrifice” by Jesus.

    Jesus says that men can break the written Law and not be Obedience to it´s prohibitions and yet be guiltless .

    Is this true?! How and why can this be true? Jesus broke, and profaned and violated the Sabbath! Yet he was without sin. He was guiltless. How? This is how:

    Matt 12: 3 He said to them, a“Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate bthe bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read cin the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, dsomething greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known ewhat this means, f‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

    and

    Matt 9 : 10 And as Jesus2 reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with gtax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn iwhat this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, lbut sinners.” 14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast (comment: The Law of God required this fasting!) ?”

    and this…

    Mark 2: 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples sbegan to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, twhy are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, v“Have you never read wwhat David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of4 xAbiathar the high priest, and ate ythe bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, z“The Sabbath was made for man, anot man for the Sabbath. 28 So bthe Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

    Note that Jesus is agreeing that the Law of God was profaned, or violated or broken according to the Letter of the Law of God. Yet those who broke the Law were innocent.

    So the question is this: Why was that?

    It is that the real aim of the Law is to produce OUT of man Mercy. It is not to produce the sacrifice of obedience IN man.

    And this is true even though it is ALSO true that God does indeed also demand that obedience to the Letter of the Law. But THIS demand is not for the obedience itself to be done. That by itself is “sacrifice” because it is aimed towards pleasing God alone.

    The obedience to the Letter must always be aimed at producing acts of Mercy for others . That is the entire purpose or “sum” of what is desired by God in the exercise called “keeping the Law of God”.

    It does not qualify as any kind of obedience God demands OUT of us as fruit, even though he does indeed demand this obedience of Mortification to happen IN us.

    What God demands to come OUT of us, precisely as the fruit of Mortification, is that we do Goodness and Mercy for our neighbor! “God would have mercy rather than sacrifice”. This is precisely what that passage means.

    The “sum ” of the Law is Love (aka Mercy and Goodness for neighbor) . This also conveys the same idea .

    The idea is that the mortification that is self-restraint or or obedience to God´s Prohibitions is not keeping the Law unless and until it bears the visible, evidential , tangible fruit of Goodness and Mercy being acted out towards others.

    This idea is that Mortification alone (self-restraint) is Obedience is the idea that Man is made or designed or purposed by God to conform to the Law. So we conform? As Mortification? End of task. This is how we keep civil law isn´t it?

    But God rules in two ways. He rules here on earth in all we can see and do by the Law. He also rules in the hearts of Believers alone by invisible faith in Christ in the Gospel, apart from the deeds of the Law.

    And he rules by Law and Gospel in order to make the SAME fatherly goodness and mercy happen among men.

  • fws

    kenneth @ 3

    The theological use of the law is how we get our salvation from God.

    I know what you mean but this is wrong. The Law always accuses and means our death. The Law IS our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but it does this by killing us. It cannot get us salvation. I know that is really what you mean brother.

    And repentance must follow… [or there can be no relief of conscience from the demands of the Law that consists of] obdience to God’s prohibitions so that He can help us do as we need, according to His ways and ultimate plan.

    Kenneth, this obedience to God´s Prohibitions is called Mortification, which is Latinate for “deathing”.

    The Law “deaths” us. Mortification is the Law in Action. It is what the Law does.

    But see if you can catch this distinction:

    This is what the Law aims to do IN us, but… it is not what the Law aims to produce OUT if us. So obedience to prohibitions is not the ultimate aim and purpose of the Law!

    And that is this:

    Both the Law AND the Gospel seek to produce the exact SAME Eternal Will of God.

    That eternal will is that Goodness and Mercy be done among men.
    Mercy, by definition, is ALWAYS undeserved!

    This is why Mortification without Goodness and mercy is called “sacrifice” by Jesus.

    Jesus says that men can break the written Law and not be Obedience to it´s prohibitions and yet be guiltless .

    Is this true?! How and why can this be true? Jesus broke, and profaned and violated the Sabbath! Yet he was without sin. He was guiltless. How? This is how:

    Matt 12: 3 He said to them, a“Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate bthe bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read cin the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, dsomething greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known ewhat this means, f‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

    and

    Matt 9 : 10 And as Jesus2 reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with gtax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn iwhat this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, lbut sinners.” 14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast (comment: The Law of God required this fasting!) ?”

    and this…

    Mark 2: 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples sbegan to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, twhy are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, v“Have you never read wwhat David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of4 xAbiathar the high priest, and ate ythe bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, z“The Sabbath was made for man, anot man for the Sabbath. 28 So bthe Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

    Note that Jesus is agreeing that the Law of God was profaned, or violated or broken according to the Letter of the Law of God. Yet those who broke the Law were innocent.

    So the question is this: Why was that?

    It is that the real aim of the Law is to produce OUT of man Mercy. It is not to produce the sacrifice of obedience IN man.

    And this is true even though it is ALSO true that God does indeed also demand that obedience to the Letter of the Law. But THIS demand is not for the obedience itself to be done. That by itself is “sacrifice” because it is aimed towards pleasing God alone.

    The obedience to the Letter must always be aimed at producing acts of Mercy for others . That is the entire purpose or “sum” of what is desired by God in the exercise called “keeping the Law of God”.

    It does not qualify as any kind of obedience God demands OUT of us as fruit, even though he does indeed demand this obedience of Mortification to happen IN us.

    What God demands to come OUT of us, precisely as the fruit of Mortification, is that we do Goodness and Mercy for our neighbor! “God would have mercy rather than sacrifice”. This is precisely what that passage means.

    The “sum ” of the Law is Love (aka Mercy and Goodness for neighbor) . This also conveys the same idea .

    The idea is that the mortification that is self-restraint or or obedience to God´s Prohibitions is not keeping the Law unless and until it bears the visible, evidential , tangible fruit of Goodness and Mercy being acted out towards others.

    This idea is that Mortification alone (self-restraint) is Obedience is the idea that Man is made or designed or purposed by God to conform to the Law. So we conform? As Mortification? End of task. This is how we keep civil law isn´t it?

    But God rules in two ways. He rules here on earth in all we can see and do by the Law. He also rules in the hearts of Believers alone by invisible faith in Christ in the Gospel, apart from the deeds of the Law.

    And he rules by Law and Gospel in order to make the SAME fatherly goodness and mercy happen among men.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    And just wait, Frank, when we come to tomorrow’s topic: The Third Use of the Law! For now, the topic is the Second Use. I think the observation that it is all One Law is a very good one. God indeed uses it in different ways. This theological use prevents us from being self-righteous, from believing in how good we are, the one obstacle, ironically, that can shut a person off from the Gospel, insofar as some people think they don’t need it.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    And just wait, Frank, when we come to tomorrow’s topic: The Third Use of the Law! For now, the topic is the Second Use. I think the observation that it is all One Law is a very good one. God indeed uses it in different ways. This theological use prevents us from being self-righteous, from believing in how good we are, the one obstacle, ironically, that can shut a person off from the Gospel, insofar as some people think they don’t need it.

  • Dennis Peskey

    The beauty of the second use of the Law is it’s ability to grow as we increase in faith. Consider, when we first come to a knowledge of our sinful condition, we fail to grasp the fullness of what it means to be unclean. We may readily concede our hands are a bit dirty, but certainly the rest of us is kinda good, isn’t it?

    Then Nathan (see 2 Sam 12:7) proclaims you are the man and the mirror of the Law reflects our unrighteousness. If we do not reject the work of the Holy Spirit, our conscience plummets to the depth of sheol and we cry out for mercy. But God’s Law has only begun its proper work. As we grow in Christ, we realize with the Psalmist the errors we formerly did not, would not or could not discern. Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin and, as Romans 5:20 declares the Law came in to increase the trespass. My only quandry remaining was who were these “good” guys referenced by Dr. Veith? I know of one who was good the bible mentions several times – must have missed the rest in my readings.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    The beauty of the second use of the Law is it’s ability to grow as we increase in faith. Consider, when we first come to a knowledge of our sinful condition, we fail to grasp the fullness of what it means to be unclean. We may readily concede our hands are a bit dirty, but certainly the rest of us is kinda good, isn’t it?

    Then Nathan (see 2 Sam 12:7) proclaims you are the man and the mirror of the Law reflects our unrighteousness. If we do not reject the work of the Holy Spirit, our conscience plummets to the depth of sheol and we cry out for mercy. But God’s Law has only begun its proper work. As we grow in Christ, we realize with the Psalmist the errors we formerly did not, would not or could not discern. Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin and, as Romans 5:20 declares the Law came in to increase the trespass. My only quandry remaining was who were these “good” guys referenced by Dr. Veith? I know of one who was good the bible mentions several times – must have missed the rest in my readings.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    You’re right, Dennis. In the Bible, unlike in other books, even the “heroes”–Abraham, Moses, David, etc.–turn out also to be sinners.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    You’re right, Dennis. In the Bible, unlike in other books, even the “heroes”–Abraham, Moses, David, etc.–turn out also to be sinners.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Crud. Hard to follow up with anything else. It’s all been said.

    That being said, I would like to refer back to elb’s first post, which is that the three uses of the law, while separate, cannot and should not be separated. The law convicts of sin. It shows us God’s perfect standard, demands that we attain that standard, and demonstrates that we cannot achieve that standard, and it is at this point that the gospel steps in and gives blessed relief.

    To emphasize the second use while ignoring the third creates Antinomianism; to emphasize the third while ignoring the second creates Legalism. To understand and emphasize both (in conjunction with the gospel) creates sinners saved by grace who nevertheless exhibit lives truly changed and sanctified, both positionally and progressively.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Crud. Hard to follow up with anything else. It’s all been said.

    That being said, I would like to refer back to elb’s first post, which is that the three uses of the law, while separate, cannot and should not be separated. The law convicts of sin. It shows us God’s perfect standard, demands that we attain that standard, and demonstrates that we cannot achieve that standard, and it is at this point that the gospel steps in and gives blessed relief.

    To emphasize the second use while ignoring the third creates Antinomianism; to emphasize the third while ignoring the second creates Legalism. To understand and emphasize both (in conjunction with the gospel) creates sinners saved by grace who nevertheless exhibit lives truly changed and sanctified, both positionally and progressively.

  • boaz

    It is a great point that it is all one law. While in the middle ages, twas effective second use preaching to talk about hell and damnation, now, I think its more effective to talk about emptiness and hopelessness that comes with lacking faith and proper orientation with God. Everybody feels it in their job, or relationships, or private thoughts. That is Gods curb for Godlessness, and the churches job is to use that to show Gods solution, passive reliance on Christs promises and gifts.

    Also, I think the second and third uses occur primarily in the right hand kingdom, by the church, in service of the Gospel, to teach the primacy of passive righteousness. First use is Gods working the law into the fabric of creation, through government, family, and culture.

  • boaz

    It is a great point that it is all one law. While in the middle ages, twas effective second use preaching to talk about hell and damnation, now, I think its more effective to talk about emptiness and hopelessness that comes with lacking faith and proper orientation with God. Everybody feels it in their job, or relationships, or private thoughts. That is Gods curb for Godlessness, and the churches job is to use that to show Gods solution, passive reliance on Christs promises and gifts.

    Also, I think the second and third uses occur primarily in the right hand kingdom, by the church, in service of the Gospel, to teach the primacy of passive righteousness. First use is Gods working the law into the fabric of creation, through government, family, and culture.

  • boaz

    Also, every Christian should learn law and gospel. Every interaction presents an opportunity to show love, but sometimes showing love requires law then gospel, and sometimes only gospel, erring for gospel of course. First use law helps people see how their bad acts lead to the problems they have, second use law helps them see they can’t solve those problems, gospel shows the solution, and third use reminds Christians that works are how we show love and live faith.

  • boaz

    Also, every Christian should learn law and gospel. Every interaction presents an opportunity to show love, but sometimes showing love requires law then gospel, and sometimes only gospel, erring for gospel of course. First use law helps people see how their bad acts lead to the problems they have, second use law helps them see they can’t solve those problems, gospel shows the solution, and third use reminds Christians that works are how we show love and live faith.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The second use is to kill us off (to self) and drive us to Christ.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The second use is to kill us off (to self) and drive us to Christ.

  • kenneth

    fws —– I think I was saying pretty much the same thing as Boaz posted–17.. Also your right , we cannot do anything on our own but the law does show us this sooner or later, depending on our particular rebelliousness. Therefore ripe for repentance.

    After the theological use brings us to Christ, God can and does help us do “works he has prepared in advance for us to do”. WE cannot, without help, do works as the third use of the law states because sanctification is a step by step with Jesus. For us together.

  • kenneth

    fws —– I think I was saying pretty much the same thing as Boaz posted–17.. Also your right , we cannot do anything on our own but the law does show us this sooner or later, depending on our particular rebelliousness. Therefore ripe for repentance.

    After the theological use brings us to Christ, God can and does help us do “works he has prepared in advance for us to do”. WE cannot, without help, do works as the third use of the law states because sanctification is a step by step with Jesus. For us together.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith”

    Except for the “3rd use”.

    Right.

    The so-called “3rd use” is ALREADY contained in the first use, so it’s not needed…thereby avoiding the unecessary risk of opening the door to legalism.

    Besides, the Holy Spirit is the One who does the good works in us and through us, and He does not need a flip chart to make that happen.

    Done.

    (I’ve ridden this pony halfway around the world it seems, so no further for me – you can rip me all you want on this, but I’ve put in my 2 cents and that’s it – thanks)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith”

    Except for the “3rd use”.

    Right.

    The so-called “3rd use” is ALREADY contained in the first use, so it’s not needed…thereby avoiding the unecessary risk of opening the door to legalism.

    Besides, the Holy Spirit is the One who does the good works in us and through us, and He does not need a flip chart to make that happen.

    Done.

    (I’ve ridden this pony halfway around the world it seems, so no further for me – you can rip me all you want on this, but I’ve put in my 2 cents and that’s it – thanks)

  • Barry Marquart

    Without the law, there is no need of salvation. Without a need for salvation, I do not need a Savior. Do I not then become my own god, paving my own broad easy road to damnation? While, with Paul, I do what I do not want to do…, I joy in the perfection of God’s love for me, and that I, through no quality or action of my own, have been redeemed for an eternity of undefinable bliss. Does not the intensity of God’s law intensify the majesty of His grace?

  • Barry Marquart

    Without the law, there is no need of salvation. Without a need for salvation, I do not need a Savior. Do I not then become my own god, paving my own broad easy road to damnation? While, with Paul, I do what I do not want to do…, I joy in the perfection of God’s love for me, and that I, through no quality or action of my own, have been redeemed for an eternity of undefinable bliss. Does not the intensity of God’s law intensify the majesty of His grace?

  • Helen K.

    following…..

  • Helen K.

    following…..

  • boaz

    When I’m weak, then I’m strong.

  • boaz

    When I’m weak, then I’m strong.

  • fws

    kenneth @ 19

    After the theological use brings us to Christ, God can and does help us do “works he has prepared in advance for us to do”. WE cannot, without help, do works as the third use of the law states because sanctification is a step by step with Jesus. For us together.

    Kenneth:

    1) There are two parts to sanctification.
    a) there is a part of sanctification that is invisible to the believer. We can only know this part by believing God’s Word that says we now have a New Man and are now completely holy and that we do works of Goodness and Mercy according to this New Man with no effort at all required. The Lutherans use expressions such as “as light from sun”, “spontaneously(think spontaneous combustion)”. “automatically” or “as the angels do God’s bidding”.

    Here you are right! Only the Gospel can create this, and this is really and only the new heart movements Baptism puts into us that alone trusts in the Works of Another and not at all in our efforts or goodness, not even our sanctified goodness.

    Again , THIS part of sanctification is nothing we can see or do, and it is an article of faith which means it is “the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen.”

    b) then there is a part of sanctification that fully includes ALL we can do as believers that is visible. Think St James here: “tell me about your faith (sanctification in the first Gospel sense) and I will SHOW you my works (sanctification in the Law or second sense)!”

    In THIS sense of the word “sanctification” St Paul tells believers to take up the Sword of the Spirit, that is the killing Law, and subdue, mortify (kill) and restrain the Old Adam flesh.

    Kenneth, this is exactly the same use of the Law that Pagans exercise. It looks the same, and it bears the same fruit as any form of sanctification. The works are identical! So is the method (Law) by which the christian believer is to produce those Good Works.

    The important thing to note is that this Law exercise of mortifying our Old Adam is the 100% of what we can see and do in our bodies as Christian Believers!

    So for believers , the visible part of sanctification is all about our death for the sake of doing Goodness and Mercy for our neighbor!

    Many christians seek life or even Life here. They use terms like the “victorious christian life” or such. This is wrong. For Believer sanctification, in ALL we can see and do in our bodies, is about our killing our Old Adam for the purpose of extorting Goodness and Mercy out of our Old Adam for our neighbor. It is ONLY that.

    We seek our Life by hiding ALL these works from the wrath of God by hiding ALL of them in the Works of Another. That is where our Life is. It is invisibly hidden in Christ. All we can see and do in our bodies is not about Life, it is ALL about our death for the creaturely perishable good and mercy of other sinners.

  • fws

    kenneth @ 19

    After the theological use brings us to Christ, God can and does help us do “works he has prepared in advance for us to do”. WE cannot, without help, do works as the third use of the law states because sanctification is a step by step with Jesus. For us together.

    Kenneth:

    1) There are two parts to sanctification.
    a) there is a part of sanctification that is invisible to the believer. We can only know this part by believing God’s Word that says we now have a New Man and are now completely holy and that we do works of Goodness and Mercy according to this New Man with no effort at all required. The Lutherans use expressions such as “as light from sun”, “spontaneously(think spontaneous combustion)”. “automatically” or “as the angels do God’s bidding”.

    Here you are right! Only the Gospel can create this, and this is really and only the new heart movements Baptism puts into us that alone trusts in the Works of Another and not at all in our efforts or goodness, not even our sanctified goodness.

    Again , THIS part of sanctification is nothing we can see or do, and it is an article of faith which means it is “the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things unseen.”

    b) then there is a part of sanctification that fully includes ALL we can do as believers that is visible. Think St James here: “tell me about your faith (sanctification in the first Gospel sense) and I will SHOW you my works (sanctification in the Law or second sense)!”

    In THIS sense of the word “sanctification” St Paul tells believers to take up the Sword of the Spirit, that is the killing Law, and subdue, mortify (kill) and restrain the Old Adam flesh.

    Kenneth, this is exactly the same use of the Law that Pagans exercise. It looks the same, and it bears the same fruit as any form of sanctification. The works are identical! So is the method (Law) by which the christian believer is to produce those Good Works.

    The important thing to note is that this Law exercise of mortifying our Old Adam is the 100% of what we can see and do in our bodies as Christian Believers!

    So for believers , the visible part of sanctification is all about our death for the sake of doing Goodness and Mercy for our neighbor!

    Many christians seek life or even Life here. They use terms like the “victorious christian life” or such. This is wrong. For Believer sanctification, in ALL we can see and do in our bodies, is about our killing our Old Adam for the purpose of extorting Goodness and Mercy out of our Old Adam for our neighbor. It is ONLY that.

    We seek our Life by hiding ALL these works from the wrath of God by hiding ALL of them in the Works of Another. That is where our Life is. It is invisibly hidden in Christ. All we can see and do in our bodies is not about Life, it is ALL about our death for the creaturely perishable good and mercy of other sinners.

  • fws

    Steve @ 20

    I hope my articulation of the truth you are expressing pleases you as expressed in my post @ 24

  • fws

    Steve @ 20

    I hope my articulation of the truth you are expressing pleases you as expressed in my post @ 24

  • kenneth

    he ————–never quits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks be to God, fws!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 BLESSINGS

  • kenneth

    he ————–never quits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks be to God, fws!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 BLESSINGS

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