25 February 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Christ compels no one by an irresistible grace, and He doesn't retrieve anyone from Satan's kingdom by outward power. Rather, He says, "Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!" This shows that the means He uses to rescue souls out of Satan's kingdom is the Word of God, for alone by this is the finger of God, the Holy Ghost, inseparably bound. A person must, then, hear and keep the Word of God. If a person does this, the Holy Ghost omnipotently pulls him with divine power out of the devil's cords. The Holy Ghost first convinces the person that until then he has stood under the authority of darkness. He then works in him a holy horror over it and a deep longing to be rescued from it. He allures him to faith in Jesus Christ, brings him to the forgiveness of sins, and finally fills him with power to hate all of the devil's works, even the subtlest of sins. This allows him to break off obedience to the devil completely and eternally, to fight victoriously against him, and to walk with a new heart in a new life.-- C.F.W. Walther, *God Grant It!* pp. 281,282

6 comments:

Andrew said...

I can see why certain 'confessional' types are put off by Walther.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Sounds like it might be a bit too close to "decision theology" for confessional Lutherans. Is it?

Do Lutherans really think the Holy Ghost is "bound" at all??

Past Elder said...

Doesn't put me off or seem in the least like decision theology to me.

What is the antecedent for "this"? The "this" which "allows him to break off obedience to the devil completely and eternally, to fight victoriously against him, and to walk with a new heart in a new life" is not a decision on his part or a work of merit on his part, but the Holy Ghost who "finally fills him with power to hate all of the devil's works, even the subtlest of sins".

William Weedon said...

Um. Walther is quintessential confessional Lutheran.

William Weedon said...

To speak of the Holy Spirit being bound to the Word, Anastasia, it is not meant that the Holy Spirit has given up a lick of freedom. It just means that He promises that He will accompany and work through that Word - not just now and again, but whenever and however it is shared. "Bound" then just another way of saying the Word (in the sense of the good news about our Savior, the Eternal Word) and the Holy Spirit go invariably together, always working for our salvation.

Chris said...

What a fabulous quote! Thank you Fr. Weedon.