Luther on ‘faith’

Martin Luther by Teeces

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.  This knowledge and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith” (LW 35:370-71).

“I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. . . . In this Christian church he daily and abundantly forgives all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and on the last day he will raise me and all the dead and will grant eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ” (Small Catechism, BC, Tappert 345).

“The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and it is not doubts and opinions that he has written on our hearts but assertions more sure and certain than life itself and all experience” (LW 33:24).

“In short, enthusiasm clings to Adam and his descendants from the beginning to the end of the world. It is a poison implanted and inoculated in man by the old dragon, and it is the source, strength, and power of all heresy, including that of the papacy and Mohammed.  Accordingly, we should and must maintain that God will not deal with us except through his external Word and sacrament. Whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from such Word and sacrament is of the devil” (Smalcald Articles III/VIII/9-10; BC Tappert 313).

 

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4 Responses

  1. Really nice selections here, Steve.

    Luther has it right. Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ Alone. All are gifts of God to us and for us. We simply receive them; we don’t produce them.

  2. Luther certainly understood where the focus should be and the dangers in turning the spotlight on ‘us’.

    Thanks, Jonathan.

  3. ““Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith” (LW 35:370-71).”

    Yep…makes you want to tap your feet and do a bit of dancin’…* ; )

  4. “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith” (LW 35:370-71).

    I JUST LOVES THIS. Who talks like Luther? Nobody else.
    “stake his life on it a thousand times”. 🙂 So bold, himself. He taught me to believe. Thank you Jesus for sending us Luther to beat it into our thick skulls and hearts. We will stake our confidence in God’s grace–a thousand times.

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