In my own homiletical training, I was instructed to avoid talk of the new obedience. “Leave that to the Holy Spirit.” But the Spirit works through means, including the preaching that the people hear from their pastor. Over years of reading patristic and early-Lutheran homilies, it struck me that no one preached the way Lutheran pastors are taught to preach today. Luther and the Fathers were keen to instruct their people in the way of righteousness.
I’m still struggling with how to work this out in my own preaching. I fail often, and pray that God overlooks whatever foolishness my people are forced to suffer on my account.
Nevertheless, I do think the key is to be found in the pattern of the Augustana, which moves from sin (article II) to Christ (III) to Justification (IV) to New Obedience (VI). Or more simply in the Small Catechism, Repentance (Commandments), Faith (Creed), and Holy Living (Our Father).