Concordia Theological Monthly

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Document Type



law and gospel, luther, lutheran, reformation, theology, christian, grace, human will, bondage, freedom, catholic, christendom

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Luther's re-discovery of the proper distinction between Law and Gospel may be viewed as the starting point of the Lutheran reformation. The proper distinction between these two doctrines is the heart and core of Lutheran theology, or in the words of the Formula of Concord, Art. V, "the specially brilliant light which has come to us through the Reformation." Where this distinction is properly observed, the Scriptures will be correctly explained and understood; conversely, where these two doctrines are mingled, the merits of Christ are obscured, and the Christian is robbed of his comfort. The Lutheran Reformation may be viewed as the same glorious victory which the Gospel herald Paul won over the Judaizing Law people. It is no doubt for this reason that Luther considered as his "dear Kaethe" St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, in which the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is so clearly set forth. The Lutheran Reformation is in essence a continuation of the conflict between Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, the Pharisees and Christ, Paul and the Judaizers. And as the Gospel people have always gained the victory over the Law people, so the Lutheran Reformation may be viewed as Luther's glorious victory in his encounter with the various Law people of his day.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Galatians 4:21-31; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18; Romans 5:14-21;

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars