Paul Zahl on the Focus of Christ’s Saving Work

Christ’s soteriology [i.e. saving work] is focused and exclusive…  It is exclusive to sinners.  This is because “those who are well have no need of a physician” (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31).  The non-inclusive and non-universal voice is not a slap at other religions, such as Buddhism and Islam.  The non-inclusive factor is instead a barrier to the non-needy people, or better, to the needy people who do not realize they are needy.

Paul Zahl “The First Christian

Quote

Wednesday Luther Quote

“Where the only preaching is, “Do this,” it remains only a letter…  They preach only the letter, but they themselves neither hear nor perform what they preach, they remain without God and without the Spirit.  Hence there is no fear, no faith, no obedience to God, no chaste hearts, no humility.

Therefore we preach something better: the Spirit and the New Testament, which is that Jesus Christ has come for your sake and taken your sins upon yourself.  There you hear, not what you should do, but what God is doing through Christ, which means, of course, that he works faith and bestows the Holy Spirit.  This is what it means to preach the New Testament and the Holy Spirit.  But nobody who wants to make people good through laws is practicing this preaching.  That’s Moses’ and the hangman’s business.  Otherwise all people would long since have been good…”

Martin Luther’s Sermon on the Epistle for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, II Cor. 3:4-6, preached preached on the Afternoon of August 27, 1531.  “Luther’s Works Vol. 51