Walther Quote of the Day

As soon as a desire for God’s grace and mercy bubble up in the heart of listeners, when they think: “Yes I, too, can still go to heaven,” they are believers. Many remain stuck in their sins because they think: “I cannot get to the point where I can go to heaven. The pastor is such a godly man. I could never be that God-fearing.” Do not hesitate to preach the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus frankly and cheerfully. Then such gloomy thoughts will vanish from the hearts of your listeners.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 460

Walther Quote of the Day

In general, when preaching on this topic*, the pastor must aim to convince his listeners that they have not committed this sin, rather than warning them not to commit it. To a person who has really committed this sin, preaching is of no benefit. If they are sorry for their sin and crave forgiveness, tell them that they are dear children of God but that they are passing through a terrible tribulation.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 447

* This topic refers to the sin against the Holy Spirit: Matt 12:30-32; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10; Hebrews 6:4-8; 1 John 5:16;

Walther Quote of the Day

How foolish them, is a preacher who thinks: “Now I will let loose the thunder of the Law. I will describe hell in all its detail and paint them a real picture of damnation, and then they will shape up!” That will not improve the people at all. That has to happen in its own time, so that secure sinners are alarmed and become poor, contrite sinners. But the Law does not produce a change of heart, love of God, and love of one’s fellow human being. If anyone is motivated by the Law to do certain good works, he does them only because he is forced, just as the Israelites had to be forced by the covenant of the Law.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 433

Walther Quote of the Day

We absolve people from their sins for no other reason than for our parishioners to believe what is being proclaimed from the pulpit. Accordingly, none of them can say, “How can the pastor know the condition of my heart? What good is Absolution if I do not repent?” Answer: “Indeed, in this particular case there is no benefit. But there is a benefit when you believe in your Absolution. But this is certain: you are absolved. And for this reason your eternal punishment would be all the more dreadful if you did not believe the Absolution that God Himself announced to all sinners and that He ordered His pastors to continue to announce to them.”

This applies to the Sacraments as well. The water in Baptism saves us. When the Lord offers communicants the blessed brea and says, “This is My body, which is given for you,” it is plain that He means to tell them that they must believe or His body would not benefit them. A person who believes that Christ, by sacrificing HIs body, has paid for the communicant’s sins can leave the altar rejoicing and exulting. When the Lord offers the blessed cup and says, “This is My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” He emphasizes the words “for the forgiveness of sins.” This causes every communicant who believes these words to shout with joy when he goes home from church after Communion.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 422-423

Walther Quote of the Day

Where there is even a spark longing for grace, there is faith. For faith is nothing else than longing for mercy. A person in whom this takes place is not merely awakened in the false sense of the word, but converted. Note that in Philippians 2:12-13 the apostle says, first, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” and then he continues: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

We need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling for the very reason that our heavenly Father must do everything necessary for our salvation. This is what the apostle tells people who have been converted. A person who is hardened, blind, and dead cannot work out his own salvation. But a converted person can–and actually does–work out his own salvation. If he fails to do it, he is again stricken with spiritual blindness and relapses into spiritual death.

Our opponents these days claim that God first awakens a person and thus gives him the power to decide whether he wants to be converted or not. That is simply a reworking of a false doctrine of long ago. It overlooks the fact that a person is either spiritually dead of spiritually alive. These people claim that a person must first be given a free will, which means that he must be awakened before he can be converted.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 416

Walther Quote of the Day

Let us picture as vividly as we can the situation that would have arisen in the early Church after false teachers such as Arius (Arianism), Nestorius, and Pelagius had surfaced-if men such as Athanasius, Cyril, and Augustine had not stood up against them,. As early as the fourth and fifth centuries, the Church would have lost the primary article of the Christian faith. The foundation would have been removed from beneath it, and it wold have had to collapse. That would indeed have been impossible in light of the eternal counsel of God concerning the Church. Nonetheless, because of that very counsel, God had to awaken tools such as those teachers.

True, while they were alive, they were hated and persecuted as evil disturbers of Christendom, but for more than a thousand years their names were beacons, great witnesses for the saving truth-and in eternity they will shine on as the brightness of the sky and the stars forever and ever. Let no one, then, be discouraged from giving testimony on behalf of the truth just because someone mocks his ‘false spirit.’ Such claims come solely from unbelief. 

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 394-395

Walther Quote of the Day

The mere act of eating the bread with the body of Christ and of drinking the wine with the blood of Christ does not produce anything good in us. Grace does not operate in a chemical or mechanical manner, but only by the Word, by virtue of God continually saying, “Your sins are forgiven.” It is to this word that you must cling by faith. If you do that, you can confidently meet God on the Last Day; and if He were preparing to condemn you, you could say to Him, “You cannot condemn me without making Yourself a liar. You have invited me to place my entire confidence in Your promise. That is exactly what I have done. For this reason You cannot — and You will not.” So if God were to test the faith of His Christians even on the Last Day, all His saints would cry out: “It is impossible for us to go to hell. Here is Christ, our guarantor and mediator. You must acknowledge, O God, the ransom that Your Son has given as payment in full for our sin and guilt”

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 391