“How to Know the Mighty Power of God” – Luther

 

Wisdom from Martin Luther:

We must learn to know the power and might of God in this same Word, namely, that we are saved thereby and solely by it resist the devil’s power and all errors. For to believe firmly that I am a Christian, a child of God, and that I am saved, when I feel sin and a bad conscience; to believe that I will live eternally, endowed with a beautiful, glorious body, although I lie under the sod—that requires a divine and heavenly power and a wisdom which is not governed by any feeling or perceiving, but which can look beyond that, convinced that this is not human prattle or phantasy but that it is the Word of God, “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).

Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, 1 Co 15:1–2 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

Source: Daily Luther: How to Know the Mighty Power of God | CyberBrethren – A Lutheran Blog.

 

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“Why We Must Cling to the Word and Sacraments” – Luther

 

Martin Luther on clinging to the Word and Sacraments.

Whoever wants to be proof against that and be safe must take this admonition to heart and be warned to retain and cling to this Word which Paul proclaimed and to ignore whatever objections others might raise to it, even though these may boast of their side of the story and lend it a good appearance. For here you hear what fruit this Gospel of St. Paul produced among them and what fruit it still produces, namely, that all became Christians through it and were saved and that people must still be saved by it. And since this fruit is ours by virtue of the Gospel, why should we search further or permit ourselves to be diverted from this and be directed and led to other things? For whatever directs us otherwise can surely not be as good, but it must be false and sheer seduction, since it pretends to have something which we already have by means of this Gospel; and thereby it denies all this or disdains it utterly. Therefore Paul addresses the Corinthians as though it were unnecessary to admonish them beyond asking them to recall and observe what they received and how they became Christians. “For if you note that,” he wants to say, “you will surely adhere to it and remain safe from all sorts of error. For you can easily differentiate between my doctrine and theirs and judge in accordance with what you gain from each, observing whether they are able to submit something better than my Gospel, by which you are saved.” And let us note here that Paul is speaking of the oral presentation of the Gospel preached by him and that he assigns to it such a claim and such praise, that they “stand in it and are saved by it” alone. This is clone in contrast to our blind spirits who disdain the external Word and Sacrament, and in their stead adduce their own imaginary spiritism.

Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, 1 Co 15:1–2 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

Source: Daily Luther: Why We Must Cling to the Word and Sacraments | CyberBrethren – A Lutheran Blog.

 

“Higher Things” Reflection for July 17

 

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Romans 6:1

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Here’s some twisted logic for you: God’s grace is that He died for our sins. So if we sin more, He’ll forgive us more. The more we sin, the more grace God has, so let’s sin some more! Is that it? St. Paul says, “No way! No how!” But that’s what happens when the Old Adam fools around with the forgiveness of sins.

How do we shut him up from asking such stupid questions? St. Paul directs us to Holy Baptism. If you are baptized into Christ, the Old Adam has died and the New Man daily arises. The Catechism reminds us that our Baptism means every day we die with Jesus and rise with Him. Every day, because of our baptism into Christ, Old Adam gets a good drowning and the New Man lives for Jesus and for others.

The key to this is Christ’s death and resurrection. In Baptism, they become YOUR death and resurrection. In Baptism, your Old Adam gets the wrath of God and the nails of the cross to put him down. In Baptism, Jesus bursting from the tomb is your New Man’s victory over sin and death and the promise of life everlasting.

Covered in Christ by your Baptism, the Lord pays no attention to the antics of your Old Adam who wants to sin so that grace may abound. Instead, He gives life to your New Man in Christ, life that is lived to the praise of God’s glory and the benefit and service of those around you.

To live as a Christian is to live in your baptism every day. To daily repent of your sins, knowing that for Christ’s sake in your baptism you are indeed forgiven. To arise and live for the welfare and service of those around you. Each morning and evening the Catechism reminds us to make the sign of the cross because then we learn over and over that our whole life is not about our own efforts but about what Jesus has done for us on Calvary and how He gives us those gifts by water and the Word. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

So use it well! You are made new — In Christ a new creation! As faithful Christians live and do Within your own vocation, Until that day when you possess His glorious robe of righteousness Bestowed on you forever! LSB 596:6

Source: Higher Things : July 17, 2012 – Tuesday of the Sixth Week after Trinity.

 

“A Prophecy of Things to Come” – Luther

Commenting on the fact that the Corinthians had teachers denying the Resurrection, Luther says:

We are to think of this as put before our eyes as a terrible example which serves to startle and to warn us; and if such spirits were to arise in our midst, we must not permit this article to be taken from us or to be perverted. For I regret to say that I am worried that our great ingratitude merits that some men will arise also among us and publicly deny this article. Therefore it is indeed necessary that we pray earnestly, sincerely, and incessantly to have the pulpit remain pure, so that such affliction may be prevented or checked. For the pulpit can still staunchly resist all sorts of error and endure the whole world’s malice. Let whoever will be converted, be converted; and whoever does not wish to be, let him be gone. At least some will be saved. But where darkness encompasses the whole world and Christians are few in number and, moreover, when the pulpits are occupied by worthless, pernicious pastors, the time will not be far distant when thunder, lightning, and every plague of false doctrine will burst in upon us unexpectedly and before we are aware of it, which believes neither this nor any other article of faith. And we will have to tolerate pastors who mislead us with such loose prattle of reason, yes, even of the vulgar, beastly understanding which sows also have, such as those people in Corinth also shared, as we shall see. Therefore Paul takes this matter very seriously in order to preserve his people in the faith in this article against such abominable factions. And he substantiates this article so mightily that even the gates of hell cannot undo matters wherever the Word is adhered to and one does not give way to let blind, foolish reason indulge in subtle arguments; for reason knows nothing and can comprehend nothing of such sublime matters.

Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, 1 Co 7:40 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

Source: Daily Luther: A Prophecy of Things to Come | CyberBrethren – A Lutheran Blog.