One of the challenges that pastors face as they prepare sermons is what to do with texts that are heavy on Law and light on Gospel. As I look at the four assigned lectionary texts for each preaching occasion, I am often drawn toward preaching texts where the Gospel predominates quite clearly in the text. Perhaps other pastors can relate. If the text has overt, obvious Gospel, it becomes much easier to move from the Gospel in the text to the Gospel for the congregation. But how do we handle texts that are light on Gospel? Texts that do not blatantly point us to the Good News of Jesus? Below are two ideas.
For the first time in English, a truly scholarly translation of Luther’s most famous disputation, referred to as The Antinomian Disputations, is available as part of the newest volume in the ongoing Luther’s Works, Volume 73. Read an excerpt from the introduction below about the doctrines of Law and Gospel.
Martin Luther was a phenomenal theologian. He wrote many theses during his lifetime, and he also presided over and responded to many of the academic disputations of others in order to discuss their points and validity. A new edition of Luther’s Works, Volume 73 on disputations, dives more deeply into Luther’s arguments from December 1537 to July 1545. Read an excerpt below from the newest volume concerning arguments on Law and sin.
As Lutherans, we preach and teach the biblical text. Whether we choose one of the four readings from the lectionary or preach through a sermon series, the text drives our preaching. As we prepare Bible studies, even if they are topical, the text of the Scriptures must always lead and inform our teaching.