From the beginning [Law and Gospel] have always been taught alongside each other in God's Church, with a proper distinction. The descendants of the respected patriarchs, and the patriarchs themselves, called to mind constantly how in the beginning a person had been created righteous by God. Through the fraud of the Serpent, Adam transgressed God's command, became a sinner, and corrupted and cast himself with all his descendants into death and condemnation. They encouraged and comforted themselves again by the preaching about the woman's seed, who would bruise the Serpent's head (Gen. 3:15); Abraham's seed, in whom "all the nations of the earth [will] be blessed" (Gen. 22:18); David's Son, who should "bring back the preserved of Israel" and be "a light for the nations" (Isaiah 49:6), and who "was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities … and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
These two doctrines, we confess, should always be diligently taught in God's Church forever. They must be taught with the proper distinction: (a) through the preaching of the Law and its threats in the ministry of the New Testament the hearts of impenitent people may be terrified, and (b) they may be brought to a knowledge of their sins and to repentance. This must not be done in such a way that they lose heart and despair in this process… (paragraphs 23-24)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.