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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Luther’s interpretive guide to Scripture embraced four distinctions which aided him in expounding the Bible in lectures, sermons, and treatises. The first distinguished God’s plan for human behaviour, the shape of life, in his law from his gospel, his word of forgiveness and liberation from all enemies, especially, sin, death, and Satan, through Christ’s atoning work. The second distinguished human passive righteousness as creatures and new creatures of God from active righteousness, the performance of God’s expectations for human beings. The third distinguished two realms or spheres of human life, a vertical relationship with God from the horizontal relationships with all God’s creatures. Luther placed these distinctions within the framework of God’s liberation for freedom from all enemies and his binding his freed people to love and service to neighbour.

Keywords: law and gospel, righteousness, two kingdoms, two realms, Christian freedom, justification, sanctification

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