The difference between true Lutherans and all other Christian denominations is the Gospel. Rome, by its own devices and through the popes, has laid a foundation of falsehood using traditions to make salvation something done by works, or, at best, works play a part in salvation. Protestants have laid their foundation by using reason to fabricate things which the Scriptures do not maintain. Much of the same problem Paul faced in the early church; on one had the Judaizers, and on the other hand Greeks. One wanted the Law of Moses, and the other wanted wisdom. This makes it so we need discernment.
"Discerning the Law and the Gospel is the highest art a Christian can have," Martin Luther says, and he is correct. One must be able to this, or become either a Papist or Protestant. The Law’s only purpose is to kill and convict. Yet, some are not satisfied with such an understanding. They break the law into its, all too familiar parts: curb, mirror, and guide. The problem with Rome and the Protestants is that they have a problem with the guide. We Lutherans if we are not careful may have the same problem. We get the curb and mirror; namely, the law helps prevent, and, at the same time, shows us our sin. Then we get to the third use the guide, or what many call today sanctification.
Sanctification is a very important point in ones life, but the question is who is the doer? To both Romans and Protestants we are! Both set up standards by which should try to live our lives. What should Lutherans say to this? I say, just as Luther did, "The law says, "Do this," and it is not done, but the Gospel says, "Believe this," and everything is already done!" For even the third use, the ah so holy third use, says, "Honor your father and mother." The regenerate believer says, "Okay, I’m baptized now I can." But, can I? What about that day you made your parents angry? Uh, oh. The friendly third use has become our enemy. What ever shall we do?
Christ! Christ is the answer to this question. We do nothing, for Christ has done all for us. Free from the law and its three uses! Free from doubt, guilt, and any other pain that comes from the law. Christ has done this, and he imparts all his grace, his gushing forth Grace, in Chalice, Font, and Absolution (From the water!!! http://blog.higherthings.org/ryanfouts/article/1649.html)! Rome and the Protestants do not understand this! Rome makes such Holy things into works, and Protestants into nothing! They take Christ from you. Oh, how sad. Yet rejoice, for such fierce accusations cannot take away your Baptism, the blood of the Lamb received at the altar, or those sweet words "You are forgiven." Christ has done it! All is done. This is the Gospel, which Luther strived so hard to gain and then keep, and what Lutherans still hold dear to this day!