Martin Luther

portrait_of_martin_luther_as_an_augustinian_monk

 

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German Professor of Theology, Priest, writer, and one of the greatest figures of the Protestant Reformation. If you don’t know much about Luther, you are missing out on a lot of solid theology. He is probably one of the most important figures after St. Augustine of Hippo. He wrote many different works, including his 95 Theses, which kicked off the Reformation. He also wrote The Freedom of the Christian, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Thousands of Sermons, and many theological works.

Quotes

“The Gospel, then, is nothing but the preaching about Christ, Son of God and of David, true God and man, who by His death and resurrection has overcome all men’s sin, and death and hell, for us who believe in Him.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“Baptism is the prime sacrament, the foundation of them all…There are two things which baptism signifies, namely, death and resurrection…We call this death and resurrection a new creation, a regeneration, a spiritual birth…The sacrament of baptism, even as a sign, is not a momentary action, but something permanent. While the rite itself is quite transitory, yet the purpose which it signifies lasts until death; indeed, till the Resurrection at the last day. Baptism means something by which evermore you die and live…All of our experiences of life should be baptismal in character…to die and live by our faith in Christ.” – Martin Luther (The Pagan Servitude of the Church)

“My dear brother, learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to pray to him and, despairing of yourself, say: ‘Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am thy sin. Thou hast taken upon thyself what is mine and hast given to me what is thine. Thou has taken upon thyself what thou wast not and hast given to me what I was not.’ Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner, or to be one. For Christ dwells only in sinners. On this account he descended from heaven, where he dwelt among the righteous, to dwell among sinners. Meditate on this love of his and you will see his sweet consolation.” – Martin Luther

“Be  sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?  Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” – Martin Luther

“If Christ, who was true God by nature, had humbled himself to become servant of all, how much more should such action befit us who are of no worth, and are by nature children of sin, death, and the devil! Were we to similarly humble ourselves, and even to go beyond Christ in humility – a thing, however, impossible – we should do nothing extraordinary. Our humility would still reek of sin in comparison with his. Suppose Christ to humble himself in the least degree – but a hair’s breadth, so to speak – below the most exalted angels; and suppose we were to humble ourselves to a position a thousand times more abased than that of the devils in hell; yet our humility would not compare in the least with that of Christ. For he is an infinite blessing – God himself.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Palm Sunday: Christ an Example of Love)

“Who would not shrink from occupying the uppermost seat and from lording it over others, when he sees the Son of God humble and eliminate himself?” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Palm Sunday: Christ an Example of Love)

“Christ disrobes himself if the divine form wherein he existed, to assume that of a servant, which did not express his essential character; but we lay aside the servant form of our real being and take upon ourselves, or arrogate to ourselves the form of God to which we are not fitted by what we are in reality.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Palm Sunday: Christ an Example of Love)

“Christ assumed the form of a servant, even while remaining God and having the form of God; he was God, and his divine words and works were spoken and wrought for our benefit. As a servant, he served us with these. He did not require us to serve him in compensation for them, as in the capacity of a Lord he has a just right to do. He sought no honor or profit thereby, but our benefit and salvation.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Palm Sunday: Christ an Example of Love)

“All this Christ surely did not do because we were worthy of it. Who could be worthy of such service from such a one? Obedience to the Father moved him. Here Paul with one word unlocks heaven and permits us to look into the unfathomable abyss of divine Majesty and to behold the ineffable love of the fatherly heart toward us – his gracious will for us. He shows us how from eternity it has been God’s pleasure that Christ, the glorious one who has wrought all this, should do it for us. What human heart would not melt at the joy inspiring thought? Who would not love, praise, and thank God and, in return for his goodness, not only be ready to serve the world, but gladly to embrace the extremity of humility? Who would not so do when he is aware that God himself has such precious regard for him, and points to the obedience of his Son as the pouring out and evidence of his fatherly will?” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Palm Sunday: Christ an Example of Love)

“And this, no doubt, all the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer etc that ever was or could be in all the world. For he being made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person and without sins, is not now the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary; but a sinner, which hath carrieth the sin of Paul, who was a blasphemer, an oppressor and a persecutor; of Peter, which denied Christ; of David, which was an adulterer, a murderer, and caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of the Lord: and briefly, which hath and beareth all the sins of all men in his body, that he might make satisfaction for them with his own blood.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“Christ has all the blessings and the salvation which are the soul’s. And so the soul has upon it all the vice and sin which become Christ’s own. Here now begins the happy exchange and conflict. Because Christ is God and man who never yet sinned, and his piety is inconquerable, eternal and almighty. So, then, as he makes his own the believing soul’s sin through the wedding ring of it’s faith, and does nothing else than as if he had committed it, just so must sin be swallowed up and drowned.” – Martin Luther

“Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing.” – Martin Luther

“The proper subject of theology is the human being guilty of sin and condemned, and God the Justifier and Savior of the sinner.” – Martin Luther

“This report and encouraging tidings, or evangelical and divine news, is also called a New Testament, because it is a testament, when a dying man bequeaths his property, after his death, to heirs whom he names, and Christ, before His death commanded and bequeathed this Gospel, to be preached into all the world, and thereby gave to all who believe, as their possession, everything that He had, that is, His life, in which He swallowed up death; His righteousness, by which He blotted out sin; His salvation, with which He overcame everlasting damnation. A poor man, dead in sin and tied for hell, can hear nothing more comforting than this precious and tender message about Christ, and from the bottom of his heart, he must laugh and be glad over it, if he believes it true.” – Martin Luther (1522 Preface to the New Testament)

“…deeply believe and never doubt the least, that you are the one who thus martyred Christ. For your sins most surely did it…therefore, when you view the nails piercing through his hands, firmly believe it is your work. Do you behold his crown of thorns, believe the thorns are your wicked thoughts.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Good Friday)

“Whoever meditates thus upon God’s sufferings for a day, an hour, yea, for a quarter of an hour, we wish to say freely and publicly, that it is better than if he fasts for a whole year, prays the Psalter every day, yea, than if he hears a hundred masses. For such a meditation changes a man’s character and, almost as in Baptism, he is born again, anew. Then Christ’s suffering accomplishes it’s true, natural, and noble work; it slays the old Adam, banishes all lust, pleasure and security that one may obtain from God’s creatures, just like Christ was forsaken by all, even by God.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Good Friday)

“Cast your sins from yourself upon Christ, believe with a festive spirit that your sins are his wounds and sufferings, that he carried them an makes satisfaction for them.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Good Friday)

“If we deal with our sins in our conscience and let them continue within us and be cherished in our hearts, they become much too strong for us to manage, and they will live forever. But when we see that they are laid on Christ and he has triumphed over them by his resurrection, and we fearlessly believe it, then they are dead and have become as nothing. For upon Christ they cannot rest; there they are swallowed up by his resurrection, and you see now no wound, no pain in him, that is, no sign of sin.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for Good Friday)

“It is easy for you to say and believe that Christ, the Son of God, was given for the sins of Peter, Paul, and other saints, who seem to us to have been worthy of this grace. But it is very hard for you, who regards yourself either as unworthy of this grace, or too worthy to need it, to say and believe from your heart that Christ was given for your many great sins.” – Martin Luther

“By His resurrection Christ won the victory over law, sin, flesh, world, devil, death, hell, and every evil. And this His victory He donated unto us. These many tyrants and enemies of ours may accuse and frighten us, but they dare not condemn us, for Christ, whom God the Father has raised from the dead is our righteousness and our victory.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“It is not knowledge of the gospel if you just know doctrines and rules. You will know the gospel when you hear the voice which tells you that Christ himself is yours, together with his life, teaching, work, death, resurrection, and everything that he has, does, or can do.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“There is only one gospel, just as there is only one Christ, because the gospel neither is, nor can be, anything other than the proclamation of Christ the son of God and of David, truly God and man.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“Thanks be unto You, O Lord Jesus Christ, because You were once dead, and by Your blood redeemed us from sin and everlasting torment. We desire to serve You all the days of our life. Preserve us in the midst of so many enemies, and by Your mighty hand preserve us for Your eternal kingdom! Amen.” – Martin Luther (Reading the Psalms)

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be with us as the sure defense of Your Church. Defend us against our enemies, preserve us from the persecutions of the wicked, and when our last hour has come, deliver us from all evil, both of body and soul, and receive us into Your everlasting kingdom. Amen.” – Martin Luther (Reading the Psalms)

“Now that the gospel has come…men have learned the fine art of blaming all the evils of the world on it! As if these evils were not in the world before the gospel! Just as men blame education for the fact that as education spreads their own ignorance is exposed!” – Martin Luther (as quote by Gerhard Forde)

“For when the rabble hear from the Gospel that righteousness comes by the sheer grace of God and by faith alone, without the Law or works, they draw the same conclusion the Jews drew then: ‘Then let us not do any works!’ And they really live up to this. What, then, are we to do? This evil troubles us severely, but we cannot stop it. When Christ is preached, He had to hear that He was a blasphemer and a rebel, that is, that his teaching was seducing men and making them seditious against Caesar. The same thing happened to Paul and to all the apostles. No wonder the world accuses us in a similar way today. All right, let it slander and persecute us! Still we must not keep silence, on account of their troubled consciences; but we must speak right out, in order to rescue them from the snares of the devil. Nor should we pay attention to how our doctrine is abused by the vicious and wicked rabble, who cannot be cured whether they have the law or not.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“The curse has been taken away by Christ, and a blessing will be bestowed on all who receive Him and believe in His name. The remarkable blessing is this, that after being freed from sin, from death, and from the tyranny of the devil, we are in the company of the angels of God and have become partakers of eternal life…. In these few simple words the Holy Spirit has thus encompassed the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God. The holy patriarchs and prophets explained this more fully later on in their sermons, namely, that through the Son of God the entire world would be made free, hell and death would be destroyed, the Law would be abrogated, sins would be forgiven, and eternal salvation and life would be given freely to those who believe in Him.” —Martin Luther (Treasury of Daily Prayer)

“All our good is to be ascribed unto God…that the mercy of God alone does all things, and that our own will does nothing, but is rather acted upon; and so it must be, otherwise the whole is not ascribed unto God.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“This, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: that God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderboldt, free will is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“Freedom consists of taking pleasure simply in doing good, without being constrained to do so by the law.” – Martin Luther (Preface to Romans)

“And how can you be certain and secure, unless you are persuaded that He knows and wills certainly, infallibly, immutably, and necessarily, and will perform what He promises?” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“…for the greatest and only consolation of Christians in their adversities, is the knowing that God lies not, but does all things immutably, and that His will cannot be resisted, changed, or hindered.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“Who among us lives and acts rightly? But justice and the doctrine of the law are not therefore condemned, but rather they condemn us.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“He had said: multitude, height, wealth, power, wisdom, righteousness, and whatever is great in the world, sets itself against the Word of God. Look at the Acts of the Apostles, and see what happened in the world on account of the word of Paul; how he alone throws both the Gentiles and Jews into commotion; or, as the enemies themselves express it, ‘turned the world upside down.’ under Elijah, the kingdom of Israel was thrown into commotion, as King Ahab complains. What tumult was there under the other prophets, while they are all either killed at once or stoned to death; while Israel is taken captive into Assyria, and Judah also to Babylon! Was all this peace? The world and its god cannot and will not bear the Word of the true God; and the true God cannot and will not keep silence. While, therefore, these two Gods are at war with each other, what can there be else in the whole world, but tumult?” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“Faith…is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God. It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers; and it brings with it the Holy Spirit. O it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them.” – Martin Luther (Preface to Romans)

“This is the forgiveness of sins; it does not occur without payment or satisfaction; but this payment is not yours. It cost Christ his body, life, and blood. It will be of no use even if you, indeed, the whole world, were to offer up your body and blood, for no offering is acceptable to God to pay for sin, says the Scripture, except the one sacrifice of Christ. It is his sacrifice of himself for your sin and the whole world’s sin and his giving to you his innocence and righteousness that comes to your help and drowns your sin and death. And when you are baptized in this faith you are putting on Christ, who washes away your sins in baptism and gives you the Holy Spirit, etc. So you see, do you not, that this forgiveness is not brought about through your penance, but rather that Christ bears the sins of us all and kills them in his body, and that we take hold of this by faith and let ourselves be baptized according to his command.” – Martin Luther (Sermon at the Baptism of Bernard von Anhalt)

“I feel the terrors of hell and the nearness of death’s hour; but if I have Christ, I have come to the consummation, and neither death nor sin nor devil can harm me. For if I believe in Christ, I have fulfilled the Law, and it cannot accuse me. I have conquered hell, and it cannot hold me. All that Christ has is mine. Through Him we acquire all His goods and eternal life. Even if my faith is feeble, I still have the selfsame treasure and the selfsame Christ that others have. There is no difference. Faith in Him makes us all perfect, but works do not.” – Martin Luther (LW 23:28)

“Let us equip ourselves against the accusations of Satan with this and similar passages of Holy Scripture. If he says, “Thou shalt be damned,” you tell him: “No, for I fly to Christ who gave Himself for my sins. In accusing me of being a damnable sinner, you are cutting your own throat, Satan. You are reminding me of God’s fatherly goodness toward me, that He so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. In calling me a sinner, Satan, you really comfort me above measure.” With such heavenly cunning we are to meet the devil’s craft and put from us the memory of sin.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“If you speak of the internal clarity, no man perceives one iota of what is in the Scriptures unless he has the Spirit of God. All men have a darkened heart, so that even if they can recite everything in Scripture and know how to quote it, yet they apprehend nothing of it. They neither believe in God, nor that they themselves are creatures of God, nor anything else, as Psalm 13 [14:11 says: “The fool has said in his heart, `There is no God.”‘ For the Spirit is required for the understanding of Scripture, both as a whole and in any part of it. If on the other hand, you speak of the external clarity, nothing at all is left obscure or ambiguous, but everything there is in the Scriptures has been brought out by the Word into the most definite light, and published to all the world.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:28)

“The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and the things He has written in our hearts are not doubts or opinions, but assertions – surer and more certain than sense and life itself” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:24)

“It is for the sake of the elect that these things are published, in order that being humbled and brought back to nothingness by this means they may be saved. The rest resist this humiliation, indeed they condemn this teaching of self-despair wishing for something, however little, to be left for them to do themselves; so they remain secretly proud and enemies of the grace of God.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:62)

“As to your fear that many who are inclined to wickedness will abuse this freedom, this should not be reckoned as one of the said tumults, part of that temporal leprosy that has to be endured and that evil which has to be borne. Such people should not be considered so important that in order to prevent their abusing it the Word of God must be taken away. If all cannot be saved, yet some are saved and it is for their sake the Word of God comes. These love the more fervently and are the more inviolably in concord. For what evil did ungodly men not do even before, when there was no Word? Or rather what good did they do?…But now the coming of the gospel begins to be blamed for the fact that the world is wicked, whereas the truth is that the good light of the gospel reveals how the world was when it lived in its own darkness without the gospel. In a similar way the uneducated find fault with education because their ignorance is shown up where education flourishes. That is the gratitude we show for the Word of life and salvation.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:5)

“That which is impossible for you to accomplish by trying to fulfill all the works of the law you will accomplish quickly and easily through faith.” – Martin Luther (Freedom of a Christian)

“Scripture, however, represents man as one who is not only bound, wretched, captive, sick, and dead, but in addition to his other miseries is afflicted, through the agency of Satan his prince, with this misery of blindness, so that he believes himself to be free, happy, unfettered, well and alive.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:130)

“The widow’s son is dead, with all senses and hearing stopped; but as soon as Christ speaks to him, he hears. This is certainly an unusual, astonishing story. The one who does not hear hears; the one who does not live, lives. And yet Christ does nothing more than open his mouth and tell him to rise. That one word is so powerful that death must yield, and life again returns.” – Martin Luther (Luther’s House Postils Vol. 3, p. 31 on Luke 7:11-17)

“Apart from grace, `free-will’ by itself is Satan’s kingdom in all men.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“This, then, is the thunderbolt of God by which He strikes in a heap [hurls to the ground] both manifest sinners and false saints [hypocrites], and suffers no one to be in the right [declares no one righteous], but drives them all together to terror and despair.” – Martin Luther (Smalcald Articles, on Repentance)

“The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.” – Martin Luther (Heidelberg Disputation)

“When the soul firmly trusts God’s promises, it regards him as truthful and righteous. Nothing more excellent than this can be ascribed to God.” – Martin Luther (Freedom of a Christian)

“We must do good works, but our confidence must not be built on them, but on Christ’s work. We should not attack sin, death, and hell with our works, but send them away from us to the righteous Savior, to the King of Zion, who rides on the donkey. He knows how to treat sin, death, and hell: He kills sin, chokes death, and devours hell. Let that man take care of such matters, and apply your works to your neighbor, so that you have a sure testimony of faith in the Savior who kills death.” – Martin Luther (LW 75:48)

“If you want to interpret well and confidently, set Christ before you, for He is the man to whom it all applies, every bit of it.” – Martin Luther

“The love of God that lives in man loves sinners, evil persons, fools, and weaklings in order to make them righteous, good, wise, and strong. Rather than seeking its own good, the love of God flows forth and bestows good. Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.” – Martin Luther (AE 31:57)

“Thy king cometh.” You seek not him, but he seeks you. You find not him, but he finds you. For the preachers come from him, not from you; their sermons come from him, not from you; your faith comes from him, not from you; everything that faith works in you comes from him, not from you; and where he comes not, you remain outside; and where there is no Gospel there is no God, but only sin and damnation, though free will may do, suffer, work and live as it may and can. Therefore you should not ask where godliness begins; there is no beginning, except where the king enters and is proclaimed.” – Martin Luther (Sermon from the 1st Sunday in Advent)

“For His righteousness rises above the sins of all men; His life is more powerful than all death; His salvation is more unconquerable than all hell.” – Martin Luther (Concerning Christian Liberty)

“Lo! My God, without merit on my part, of His pure and free mercy, has given to me, an unworthy, condemned, and contemptible creature all the riches of justification and salvation in Christ, so that I no longer am in want of anything except faith to believe that this is so…I will therefore give myself as a sort of Christ, to my neighbor, as Christ has given Himself to me; and will do nothing in this life except what I see will be needful, advantageous, and wholesome for my neighbor, since by faith I abound in all good things in Christ.” – Martin Luther (On Christian Liberty)

“With all your effort, work and labor you cannot come to Him, lest you boast as though you had received Him by your own merit and worthiness. No, dear friend, all merit and worthiness is out of the question, and there is nothing but demerit and unworthiness on your side, nothing but grace and mercy on His.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent)

“Faith brings and gives Christ to you with all his possessions. Love gives you to your neighbor with all your possessions. These two things constitute a true and complete Christian life.” – Martin Luther (Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent)

“Rather than seeking its own good, the love of God flows forth and bestows good. Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.” – Martin Luther

“When David defeated the giant, Goliath, there was a great shout, and an encouraging message was passed around among the Jews to say that their terrible enemy had been killed, and that they were free to enjoy liberty and peace; thereupon they sang and danced and made merry. Similarly, God’s evangel, the New Testament, is a good piece of news, a war-cry. It was echoed throughout the world by the apostles. They proclaimed a true David who had done combat with, and gained the victory over, sin, death and the devil. In so doing, He had taken all who were enchained by sin, threatened by death and over powered by the devil. Though they had merited no rewards, He redeemed them, justified them, gave them life and salvation, and so brought them peace and led them back home to God. For these reasons, they sing thanks and praises to God, and they will ever continue to be happy if they remain firm in faith.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“Christ, before His death, decided and commanded that this Good News was to be proclaimed to all the world after His death. He thereby gave all believers possession of all His goods: namely, His life, by which He had vanquished death; His righteousness, by which He had washed away sin; and His holiness, by which He had overcome eternal damnation. No poor fellow chained in sin, dead, and bound for hell can ever hear anything more comforting and encouraging that this precious and lovely message about Christ; the sinner cannot help exulting from the bottom of his heart and rejoicing over it when he accepts its truth.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“Beware, lest you make Christ into a Moses, and the gospel into a book of law or doctrine, as has been done…the gospel demands no works to make us holy and to redeem us. Indeed, it condemns such works, and demands only faith in Christ, because He has overcome sin, and death, and hell for us. Thus it is not by our own works, but by His work, His passion and death, that He makes us righteous, and gives us life and salvation. This is in order that we might take to ourselves His death and victory as if they were our own.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“If he has faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to the people at the risk of life itself. His whole life and all his effort are directed towards the benefit of his neighbor, and this not just in order to help him to attain the same grace; but he employs his strength, uses his goods, and stakes his reputation, as he sees Christ did for him, and therefore follows His example. Christ never gave any other commandment than that of love, because He intended that commandment to be the test of His disciples and true believers. For if works and love do not blossom forth, it is not genuine faith, the gospel has not yet gained a foothold, and Christ is not yet rightly known.” – Martin Luther (Preface to the New Testament)

“By Jesus Christ crucified for our sins we are delivered from sin, justified and made inheritors of everlasting life, not for our own works and deserts, but for our faith, whereby we lay hold upon Christ.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“For if you ask: What is the gospel? you can give no better answer than these words of the New Testament, namely that Christ gave his body and poured out his blood for us for the forgiveness of sins. This alone is to be preached to Christians, instilled into their hearts, and at all times faithfully commended to their memories.” – Martin Luther (AE, 36,183)

“The schoolmen have made Christ a judge and a tormentor. But Christ is no lawgiver, but a forgiver of sins and a savior. This is what faith understands and takes hold of.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“All our work in the field, in the garden, in the city, in the home, in struggle, in government—to what does it all amount before God except child’s play, by means of which God is pleased to give his gifts in the field, at home, and everywhere? These are the masks of our Lord God, behind which he wants to be hidden and to do all things.” – Martin Luther

“Christ’s victory, then, is the overcoming of the law, sin, our flesh, the world, the devil, death, hell, and all evils. This victory He has given us. So, although these tyrants, our enemies, accuse us and make us afraid, they cannot drive us to despair or condemn us. For Christ, whom God the Father raised from the dead, is our righteousness and victory.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“It is easy for you to say and believe that Christ, the Son of God, was given for the sins of Peter, Paul, and other saints, who seem to us to have been worthy of this grace. But it is very hard for you, who regards yourself either as unworthy of this grace, or too worthy to need it, to say and believe from your heart that Christ was given for your many great sins.” – Martin Luther (From Steve Paulson’s Lutheran Theology)

“With gratitude and with a sure confidence, therefore, let us accept this doctrine, so sweet and so filled with comfort, which teaches that Christ became a curse for us, that is, a sinner worthy of the wrath of God; that He clothed Himself in our person, laid our sins upon His own shoulders, and said: “I have committed the sins that all men have committed.” Therefore He truly became accursed according to the Law, not for Himself but, as Paul says, for us.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“The highest act of freedom is to recognize our bondage.” – Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)

“My sin is swallowed up and my death is put to death. These things are not done by the law or works, but by Christ crucified. Upon his shoulders lie all the evils and miseries of humanity, the law, sin, death, the devil and hell. And all these things die in him, for by his death he has killed them.” – Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians)

“‘Your King comes’; you do not seek him, he seeks you. You do not find him, he finds you. Because the preachers come from him, not from you. Their sermon comes from him, not from you. Faith comes from him, not from you. And everything that faith works in you comes from him, not from you.” – Martin Luther (Sermon on Matt. 21:1-9 from the Church Postils, 1521)

“God’s commands are sweet, when we find that they are to be read not in books alone, but in the wounds of our sweet Savior.” – Martin Luther (Letter to John Staupitz)

“Is that not a happy transaction, where the rich, noble, righteous bridegroom Christ marries the poor, despised, wicked little whore and frees her from all evil, adorns her with all goods? So it is impossible that the sins condemn her; for now they lay on Christ and are devoured with him. Now she has got such a rich righteousness from her bridegroom, that she again can stand against all sins.” – Martin Luther (On the Freedom of the Christian)

“When the shepherd finds the lost sheep again, he has no intention of pushing it away in anger once more or throwing it to a hungry wolf. Rather, all his care and concern is directed to alluring it with every possible kindness. Treating it with the upmost tenderness, he takes the lamb upon his own back, lifting it up and carrying it, until he brings the animal all the way home again.” – Martin Luther

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