Home > Ezekiel's Forehead, Faith, Preaching, Pure Doctrine, Ransacking the Lost Treasures of the Lutheran Church > A Remedy for Lutheran Antinomianism: from Heshusius’ Sermon for Trinity 3

A Remedy for Lutheran Antinomianism: from Heshusius’ Sermon for Trinity 3


The First Point

What godly Christian Repentance or Conversion (bekehrung) is, and what parts it is comprised of.


True/real, Christian, blessed [saving/salutary?] repentance is made up of two parts.  The first is remorse (Reu) and sorrow (Leid) because of the sins a person has committed; and also that a person is alarmed in his heart and fears God’s judgment and wrath against him.  The second part is [the] faith in Jesus Christ, through which the sinner must again raise himself up and conclude that his sins are forgiven him for Christ’s sake, and God receives him in his grace.  Then from this follows comfort and peace of conscience.

The Lord Christ Himself witnesses that Christian repentance consists of these two points in Mark Chapter 1.  There He says, “Do penance [Repent] and believe in the Gospel.”  In the same way, Paul in Acts 20 said, “I have proclaimed to you the whole counsel of God, and both to the Jews and Greeks testified of repentance toward God and faith in Christ.”

The beginning of true repentance is the knowledge of sins, that we humble ourselves before the Divine Majesty and recognize ourselves to be guilty, and also letting ourselves be sorry from the heart that we have provoked [erzuernet] the holy, righteous [fromm] God, fearing His serious judgment and wrath against us.  Because that is God’s will: that one knows that He has no pleasure in sin, but instead is sin’s foe, and He also wants us to be the enemies of sin.  He also wants us to recognize what kind of wretchedness we have come into through sin, and what kind of punishment we have earned.  Thus we might also be assured of the great mercy which He has shown to us, and the great deliverance of the Son of God, who has made satisfaction for our sins.  A sick or wounded person who does not recognize the extent of his injuries, if he does not greatly respect the doctor, will not be serious about taking the medicine he prescribes.  So it is also with sinners.

For this reason, God still strongly preaches the law on earth, so that all the world would learn what sin is, how severely God is angry against our sins, how they have earned eternal punishment, and that no man on earth lives without sins.  For that reason, everyone should fear God’s wrath.  But besides the Law-preaching he also lets all manner of terrifying punishments and plagues go out over the world, such as war, pestilence…[? Something zeit]…sickness, poverty, hunger, misery, fire, flood, bad weather [?], …Because the world still doesn’t want to believe that God is so violently angry against sin, Satan also blinds mankind and makes sin seem light and insignificant.

But one only has to look at how God punished the first world with the sin-flood, how he turned Sodom and Gomorrah inside out, how He let Jerusalem and the whole Kingdom be ravaged, how He often loads little children with grave sickness, and that sin could not have been put away unless God’s Son Himself had suffered, because God is a serious and [?] God who hates sins to such an extent that He not only wants to punish them in the parents but also the children until the third and fourth generation.  Because of that whoever from his heart wants to be converted, he must not remain in sins, and must not still have joy or pleasure in them, but instead must stop [living in conscious, willful sin] and be heartily sorry that he has angered God with his sins.  About this St. Bernard says excellently: Fides solatium est, non eget ille solatio, qui laetatur cum malefecerit.  “Faith is a comfort, but he needs no comfort who still rejoices and has pleasure when he has done evil.”

The whole sermon and postil in German can be found here:http://digitale.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/vd16/content/pageview/4315651

Snippets from Wikipedia bio:

Heshusius came from an influential family in Wesel. He was a student of Philipp Melanchthon at the University of Wittenberg and was consequently close to him. During the time of the Augsburg Interim, he lived in Oxford and Paris. In 1550 he took his master’s degree and was received by the Senate of the philosophical faculty; he lectured on rhetoric and as well as theology. In 1553 he became Superintendent in Goslar and acquired his doctoral degree in Wittenberg on May 19 the same year at the expense of the city. However, he soon came into conflict with Goslar and left in 1556 to take a post at the University of Rostock.

There too he became involved in a dispute over Sunday weddings and the participation of Protestants in Roman Catholic celebrations. After attempting to excommunicate two leading city officials, he was expelled from the town. Melanchthon was able to arrange his appointment as general superintendent of the church of the Electoral Palatinate in Heidelberg. In 1559 a controversy broke out in Heidelberg over the Lord’s Supper between Heshusius and his deacon Wilhelm Klebitz…He became involved in another controversy over the Lord’s Supper in Bremen, which did not redound to his glory, opposing Albert Hardenberg and Jacob Probst. From Magdeburg, he composed responses to his opponents and endeavored to establish a strict form of Lutheranism. He likewise came into conflict in Magdeburg and was driven from the town…

An able theologian, but excessive in his self-righteousness, he was exemplar of the spirit of early Protestant Orthodoxy.

His excessive self-righteousness was an expensive hobby.  If only he was more moderate in his self-righteousness, and realized, like Lutherans do now, that it displeases God if we read the bible for any other reason than to find principles for living or think that we should be dogmatic about anything the bible says beyond, “Yes, Jesus loves me…”


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