Category Archives: Justification by Faith

We Are God’s Beloved Enemies

Justification by faith makes us realize that we are loved sinners, that we are God’s beloved enemies. In short, we are lost people under God’s grace. So is the world as a while. Whatever we see, achieve, possess, or try to do is lost; even the tanks of the dictators or the riches of the bankers are doomed to decay. And whatever good deeds I myself do cannot set aside this predicament; they may truly be good deeds or they may only seem so. For this is not the point. The point is this: Who am I in God’s eyes? And he responds, “You are my enemy whom I love and therefore lead to salvation. So leave yourself in my hands; my will is known and found in Jesus Christ. Then you will be my child and my friend and will not have to sustain yourself. As my child and my friend you need not be concerned about your own person. Thus you are free to look around and to concentrate on others and things outside your own person and its interest.”

Dr. Klaus Schwarzwäller (1935-2012), “Justification and Reality”, in Justification Is For Preaching

schwarzwaller

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The Righteousness of Faith Is Never Merely Self-Evident

An evangelical church which looks upon the doctrine of justification by faith as a self-evident banality one no longer needs to dwell upon because other problems are more pressing has robbed itself of the possibility of arriving at solutions to such problems. It will only tear itself further apart. If the article of justification is removed from the center we will very soon no longer know why we are and must remain evangelical Christians. Then we will strive for the unity of the church and sacrifice
the purity of the gospel; we will expect more from church order and government, from the reform of ecclesiastical office and church discipline, than these can deliver. One will flatter piety and despise doctrine; one will run the risk of becoming tolerant where one should be radical and radical where one should be tolerant – in short, the standards will be skewed and therewith also what is necessary and right in all reforms for which we struggle today will no longer be comprehensible.

– Hans Joachim Iwand, The Righteousness of Faith According to Luther

Iwand

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