Saturday, February 1, 2014

An instrument and organ of God's Spirit. . .

If you have been anywhere in the Lutheran blogosphere you have encountered much discussion on antinomianism and the Third Use of the Law (technical term here).  There are those who would insist that we cannot cooperate in anything -- certainly not our our justification and salvation (Pelagianism) but not even in our sanctification and life of good works flowing.

Other bloggers have written in much more depth on this subject and I have no need to repeat some of the fine writing that has already been done by Pastors Curtis and Surburg, among others.  What I do find amazing is how deftly our own Lutheran Confessions have dealt with this topic in simple, plain, and yet eloquent words.  Once such
Also what Dr. Luther has written, namely, that man's will in his conversion is pure passive, that is, that it does nothing whatever, is to be understood respectu divinae gratiae in accendendis novis motibus, that is, when God's Spirit, through the Word heard or the use of the holy Sacraments, lays hold upon man's will, and works [in man] the new birth and conversion. For when [after] the Holy Ghost has wrought and accomplished this, and man's will has been changed and renewed by His divine power and working alone, then the new will of man is an instrument and organ of God the Holy Ghost, so that he not only accepts grace, but also cooperates with the Holy Ghost in the works which follow. FC, Epitome II.18
There is, as Pastor Tapani Simojoki  so well describes "that lovely phrase, “the new will of that person is an instrument and organ of God the Holy Spirit” [which so] wonderfully sums up the relationship between the work of the Holy Spirit and the regenerate will of the believer.  This is why St. Paul was able to write to the Romans, “… be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2 ESV). In other words, be what you have been made, and become what you are [what God has declared you to be].

And a wonderful phrase that is -- the new will of that [regenerate] person is an instrument and organ of God the Holy Spirit...  Would that we were all just that, the willing in and through whose will the Spirit works, to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit and the good works of repentance and faith that outwardly declare what God has done inwardly.  Amen.

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