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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Gospel is nothing more than… (Walther's Light of Life sermon book)

      About 15-20 years ago, I ran across a particularly comforting expression used by C.F.W. Walther in one of his yet untranslated sermon books, Licht des Lebens or Light of Life.  I made a note of this then for my future reference so that it would be remembered for as long as I live.  Now I want to publish a short paragraph from this sermon to the world.  On page 601, Walther presents exactly what the Gospel is, and I will take this to my grave (German text here, all emphasis is mine):
The Gospel is, therefore, really nothing more than a letter from God to the whole world in which he tells it that its sins are paid and forgiven; nothing other than a receipt, which is to be handed over to all sinners, which in it is written: God is paid-up by the death of his Son; the debts of all sinners are paid.
Licht des Lebens
(Light of Life)


      For the reader that would like to know more about this sermon book, or for anyone considering translating this book, there is a book review published in Lehre und Wehre, 1905 (vol. 51), pp. 508-510.  It was written by Prof. Friedrich Bente and focuses on another sermon (pages 302-309) from the same book that emphasizes the universal justification of the whole world.  But Bente approaches this subject from the angle of refuting the Ohio Synod and its rejection of this most beautiful of Christian doctrines.  I will leave to the reader the further work of loading this book review into a Chrome browser and automatically translating it.  This essay by Bente is similar to the great warning that Franz Pieper sounded out against the Ohio Synod in this earlier blog post.  In a nutshell, the refutation says, “Its not Calvinism, its the Gospel”. — To repeat the glorious expression of Walther:

The Gospel is nothing more than a receipt!

Would you like your receipt?  It's been printed out for you...


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