Another great quote from Luther…

“There are some who have no understanding to hear the truth of freedom and insist upon their goodness as means for salvation. These people you must resist, do the very opposite, and offend them boldly lest by their impious views they drag many with them into error.

For the sake of liberty of the faith do other things which they regarded as the greatest of sins… use your freedom constantly and consistently in the sight of and despite the tyrants and stubborn so that they may learn that they are impious, that their law and works are of no avail for righteousness, and that they had no right to set them up.”

                                                                     – Martin Luther

15 Responses

  1. When a Christian insists upon their goodness as a means for salvation, I think they push other Christians away.

    I really do not understand the second paragraph.

  2. I think Luther is saying not to take any you know what from the legalists (especially those in power – the clergy, etc.)

    For example, if a priest or pastor would be saying that playing cards is wrong and sinful, then Luther would advocate having a card game in his plain sight. To pour your freedom on top of them.

    I do not think that Luther would advocate this towards layman or Christians that are weak in their faith, as to cause them to stumble.

    Just my thoughts. I could be wrong. (what else is new!)


    – Steve

  3. lol … sounds like, Luther.

    I sure like that guy! 😉

  4. Me too!

    What a bulldog for Christ!

    – Steve

  5. Magdalene,

    If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the sermon under ‘The Two ChristianParadigms’.

    I think you’ll really enjoy it.

    It’s a good one to share if you know someone that you think might benefit from hearing it.


    – Steve

  6. 😉

    Steve, I will listen to the sermon after dinner. I look forward to hearing it and commenting.

    God bless you for sharing God’s Word.

    Have a nice day. †

  7. My † appeared!!!

    I stole it from David… 😉

    Isn’t it beautiful!

  8. I love it!

    How do you do that?

    Have your dinner, Magdalene. You can teach me how to do the cross and the smiley face thingys later!


    – Steve

  9. Steve,

    † (hit the option key and the letter t) †

    Smiley face with wink… space ; space ;

  10. Let me try that wink again… 😉

    ; and a )

  11. Steve,

    I hope this site helps:

  12. Earlier, we were talking about making mistakes… now we can use this… 😳

  13. Magdalene,

    Great stuff! I’ll look at it a little later and practice with it a bit.

    Thanks for sending it to me!

    – Steve

  14. Hey Steve,

    We probably crossed paths over on internet monk a few times, on the same side. I really appreciate what you are doing for the Gospel, it’s not often one runs into BOLD proclaimers now days. I Just found your web site from a link from “five pint lutheran”. You have some GREAT food for the soul here like five pint. I’m definitely putting yours on my list of superb links.

    One can always tell a fellow traveler in the faith that has had that profound anfechtung at one time or another under some form of pietism or religious thing disguised as Christian, the way they espouse grace sounds absolutely absurd and “too much”; and the responses of the pretend sinners or those who have not learned their sin enough is usually some “yea but what about .

    I think to more easily understand the second paragraph of Luther something else Luther said and alluded to in other writings is very helpful. I want to be careful here and not make “suffering” or “anfechtung” another theology of glory (which happens a lot), but rather that “in it” with the Law pounding hard and seeing one’s heart and being emptied before God so that the ONLY thing that will assuage and release a man is the 200 proof Gospel pressed to the Nth degree. It took me a while to grasp Luther in his second paragraph and similar statements a couple of years ago because it sounded absurd to me too. However, we still have “hidden” things we like to bring before God and as such Luther’s second paragraph seems hyperbolic at best, absurd if a little less than better or even counter to God and the faith at worse. Why?

    First, it’s crucial to understand that the flesh and old Adam in us is will take unto itself the newest expressions of even the Gospel, grace, faith, bible, Word and so forth and make them the “new works”. Now the key to the flesh’s tricky craftiness is that it will deny these things as “works” in so many words or confession(s), but yet it is in reality clinging onto them and secretly so, even unbeknownst to the one clinging to them (I did). The flesh and the devil are very very very tricky and crafty in this. E.g. a man may confess “grace alone” and “faith alone” affirming the Gospel in confessional words and even saying, “No seriously, this is what I believe, I’m not denying the Gospel, I don’t mean to deny the Gospel”. Even the great Apostle Peter struggled here. Then we turn around and very subtly do not notice that we deny the Gospel in “post conversion” uses of grace, sanctification or third uses of the law. All three of these are the same “animal” in principle, essence and nature by any other name. It’s always some “after I become a Christian clean up program”. Doing works after conversion “by the power of grace”, “as sanctification” or by the so called “third use of the law” are all the same bird. Grace does “change” a man/woman, but it is not at ALL the way most think and so alien that few really grasp it. It is as Luther said many will blow hard and a lot about faith and good works and absolutely know nothing of either one. So, this is the route or the thing that the flesh takes unto itself to give it plausible deniability so that the old Adam can very craftily say, “I confess and believe grace alone, faith alone in Christ alone…so I don’t mean ‘one works their way to heaven like Rome did’, I’m not denying the Gospel.” This is the back door way for works that come in under a cloak of “by the power of grace”, “as sanctification” or “under the third use of the law”. No good Christian post first advent is going to openly act nor speak the same lingo that a Pharisee does, that would be too overt and obvious. But many Christians, including and especially pastors, will don these new terms to works based program. Med. Rome for example, well after the Pharisees, NEVER said “works salvation”, that would be the Pharisees, but it procured for itself the terms “grace” and “gospel” and “sanctification” to resurrect the same works salvation animal, just not overtly called so. Today our “protestant churches” have done the same thing with the reformational formulas and statements except we gather up, usually, the then clarifying reformation terms like “grace alone, faith alone and etc…”, slap them on the front end of “getting in” then white wash over top of the works salvation tomb with a post conversion “by the power of grace”, “sanctification” and “third use (law for the converted Christian) gloss. The eventual religious program then under these “Christian” guises differs none essentially and by nature from rank paganism, Islam, New Age, name your poisonous clean up program. This is how the flesh or old Adam very skillfully covers up the Gospel while saying, “I don’t cover up the Gospel”. It can always appeal to its plausible deniability of its confession. But how it actually lives shows forth whether or not the Gospel is actually believed or not. Some confess Christ alone but by their lives, church or denomination speak louder than that “official line/confession”, that “Christ is not NEARLY enough”.

    Thus, the Gospel is always in need of “fresh pungency” in its proclamation so that this hidden flesh and old Adam can truly be offended and I mean by offended; affronted, insulted, disrespected, slighted, upset and down right struck against in the harshest of ways.

    This is the resistance Luther speaks of because he understood well the crafty and devious bewitchments of the flesh and the white devil. Luther again says, “For the sake of liberty of the faith do other things which they regarded as the greatest of sins… use your freedom constantly and consistently in the sight of and despite the tyrants and stubborn so that they may learn that they are impious, that their law and works are of no avail for righteousness, and that they had no right to set them up.” Elsewhere he has said that he often himself finds that he openly does the opposite of what the flesh, world and devil tell him not to do. This is a brilliant insight into the Gospel and blazing proclamation of Christ and Him crucified and “it is finished”, that speaks, no screams louder than just the confessional “grace alone and faith alone” which is now days used as the entrance cloak for back door works salvation. This statement of Luther’s, “I do the opposite of what the devil says to do”, is almost singular of Luther for he recognized that the devil does not so much nor primarily tempt men to “go to a strip tease bar”, in order to damn their souls. Rather, he, the devil, primarily says, “do this religious thing, this ‘by the power of grace thing, this sanctification thing, this by the third use of the law thing’ that if you don’t do it – it is likely sin or is sin”. So that if these purveyors of religion, I speak singularly within the camp of that which is called Christian, regard these things needing done or avoided to be done as the greatest of sins, not only should one not do them or do them, respectively, one MUST not do them or do them, depending upon the religious demand for the VERY sake of the Gospel and its witness.

    E.g. (not exhaustive) if one finds that one is being tempted by the devil either “internally” via the flesh or by men/women in the church or by a ‘doctrine’ to say “not drink a beer or wine”, “enjoy say a movie” or enjoy something, one should DO it, even or especially if they regard it as the greatest of sins. I’ve even found it true that the Gospel is better witnessed to when I don’t pretend to not be such a sinner and use a ‘christian cuss word’ and instead use a real cuss word. That may sound shocking but the Cross is MORE covered up by these than anything. Most people think Christians don’t drink beer or alcohol because they are “Christians”, the Gospel covered up. Or that Christians don’t cuss when they get angry or hammer their thumbs and that is the ‘essence’ of their religion. The thing that made me wonder, what is this strange “grace” and “Gospel” that Luther sees that I apparently didn’t was IN FACT his freedom. I use to wonder, why Luther was so free to drink beer and speak boldly, and even throw in a good cuss word when needed and still be so Christian. It was his freedom that both confounded my pietism and yet drew me, why was he so free. Now I know.

    That’s what Luther meant and more.



  15. Larry,

    You are a voice in an ever-increasing wilderness!

    Doing the opposite of what the devil tells you you should do is brilliant! I actually do that sometimes to try and shock someone I am attempting to witness to.
    To show them my freedom and to teach them that christ is my righteousness and not my, language, my performance, my example.

    Whe I was commenting over at the Internet Monk, I couls always count on you to come to my aid (the side of grace and forgiveness…the side of Jesus).

    Thanks very much for your encouragment and steadfast pproclamation of the forgiveness of sins for Jesus sake.

    God blees you, Larry!

    – Steve

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