Preaching About Sanctification and Good Works
I'd like to revisit the issue of preaching about sanctification and good works. A friend sent me these thoughts the other day, and I thought I'd pass them along here:
Please note Dr. CFW Walther's Thesis VII, in his masterful and magisterial The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel which reads: "In the third place, the
Word of God is not rightly divided when the Gospel is preached first
and then the Law; sanctification first and then justification; faith
first and then repentance; good works first and then grace."
He urges us not to preach "sanctification first and
then justification," and "good works first and then grace." In so saying, clearly Walther was intent on preaching sanctification, but making sure it did not occupy its place before preaching
justification; however that we are to be preaching sanctification is a "given."
Also of note is Walther's XXIII Thesis which reads: "In the nineteenth
place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when an attempt is made
by means of the demands or the threats or the promises of the Law to
induce the unregenerate to put away their sins and engage in good works
and thus become godly; on the other hand, when an endeavor is made, by
means of the comands of the Law rather than by the admonitions of the
Gospel, to urge the regenerate to do good."
Notable, again, is the strong foundation of the gospel on which Walther places the doctrine, and preaching of sanctification, but clearly he assumes that sanctification and good works will be preached.