27 January 2012

Gems from Walther

C. F. W. Walther has some great things to say about preaching "faith," namely, how to do so without leading hearers to think, "Oh, I must work faith in myself," or "I must not have enough faith," or other such harmful sentiments. I've read and used these quotes before, but here they are for edification:
When we demand faith, we do not lay down a demand of the Law. Rather, we extend the sweetest invitation, saying to our listeners, "Come, for everything is now ready." If I invite a half-starved person to sit down to a well-set table and to help himself to anything he likes, I do not expect him to tell me that he will take no orders from me. In the same way, the demand to believe is to be understood not as an order of the Law, but as an invitation of the Gospel. (C. F. W. Walther, Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible, 287.)

A preacher must be able to preach a sermon on faith without ever using the word faith. It is not important to use the literal word faith. Rather, the preacher needs to frame his address in a way that he would awaken in every poor sinner the desire to lay down his sins at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ and say to Him, "You are mine, and I am Yours." (C. F. W. Walther, Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible, 287-88.)

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