So here is your word for the day. You can use it three times and it will be yours for life. It is a great word. Running stupendous and duel together to form a word that tries to express something that causes an inward duel in a person. It was used by Luther to try and explain what should happen when a person is finally gripped by the Gospel and freed from the grip of the Law. The Law, the demands of a Holy God to human beings, always accuses us and always, if not dulled by a wishy, washy view of what it is and what it means death for us. To find out that we have been freed from the Law by Christ and His death and resurrection should cause joy, and it does, but first it causes this duel inside a person.
It is knee bucking and stupefying that God claims sinners as His and declares them Holy and righteous because of Christ. We cannot hear that when it is preached or believe it when it is taught because it is, as some call it, the “magnificent terror of divine election”. The Holy Spirit convicts us and calls us other wise there would be no faith. Everything about us used to say “how do I get right with God?” That was a problem and caused anxious seekers worry. The Gospel, rightly preached says, Christ “made you right with God” causes another reaction. This stupendous message gets attacked by human nature.
Luther said that God’s love does not find anything lovable in me, but that His love makes me lovable. When that is grasped by faith it is a joyous thing but it will always cause the duel in me. That duel goes on and that is why preaching is indispensable, but that is another topic. For now the main point is that, as Oswald Bayer has written, “the justification of the ungodly (Rom 4:5) is nothing less than the resurrection of the dead and the creation out of nothing (4:17).”