By Dr Hans Wiersma
There are some interesting words at the beginning of John’s Gospel—words that appear to drive a wedge between Moses and Jesus. The words go like this: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NIV). These words are noteworthy because of the implied converse: Grace and truth do not come through Moses; the law was not given through Jesus Christ. Distinctions like this one—telling the difference between Law and Grace—are the hallmark of the Lutheran understanding of, well, just about everything.
In 1525, Martin Luther preached a sermon about two different and distinct sermons. At the beginning of his sermon, Luther explained how, in the Bible, God preaches only two public sermons—two sermons that all of the people can hear. According to Luther, God’s first public sermon was on Mt. Sinai, when the people heard God give Moses…
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