I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
October 28, 2011
To Celebrate the Reformation this year we look at quotes from Martin Luther the Reformer.
On Justification
Commenting on Galatians 3:5 Luther says: “The article of justification, which is our only protection, not only against all the powers and plottings of men but also against the gates of hell, is this: by faith alone in Christ, without works, are we declared just and saved.”
Commenting on Galatians 4:1-7 Luther says: “Nothing more is required for justification than to hear of Jesus Christ and to believe on Him as our Savior.”
Commenting on Psalm 51:2 Luther says: “A Christian … is righteous by the mercy and grace of God. This mercy and grace is not something human; it is not some sort of disposition or quality in the heart. It is a divine blessing, given us through the true knowledge of the Gospel, when we know or believe that our sin has been forgiven through the grace and merit of Christ…. Is not this righteousness an alien righteousness? It consists completely in the indulgence of another and is a pure gift of God, who shows mercy and favor for Christ’s sake…. Therefore a Christian … is righteous … only in respect to divine grace and the free forgiveness of sins, which comes to those who acknowledge their sin and believe that God is gracious and forgiving for Christ’s sake, who was delivered for our sins (Romans 4:25) and is believed in by us.”
On Faith
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.
“The heart overflows with gladness, and leaps and dances for the joy it has found in God. In this experience the Holy Spirit is active, and has taught us in the flash of a moment the deep secret of joy. You will have as much joy and laughter in life as you have faith in God.”
“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”
“There are some who are still weak in faith, who ought to be instructed, and who would gladly believe as we do. But their ignorance prevents them…we must bear patiently with these people and not use our liberty; since it brings to peril or harm to body or soul…but if we use our liberty unnecessarily, and deliberately cause offense to our neighbor, we drive away the very one who in time would come to our faith. Thus St. Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3) because simple minded Jews had taken offense; he thought: what harm can it do, since they are offended because of ignorance? But when, in Antioch, they insisted that he ought and must circumcise Titus (Gal. 2:3) Paul withstood them all and to spite them refused to have Titus circumcised… He did the same when St. Peter…it happened in this way: when Peter was with the Gentiles he ate pork and sausages with them, but when the Jews came in, he abstained from this food and did not eat as he did before. Then the Gentiles who had become Christians thought: Alas! we, too, must be like the Jews, eat no pork, and live according to the law of Moses. But when Paul learned that they were acting to the injury of evangelical freedom, he reproved Peter publicly and read him an apostolic lecture, saying: “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Gal. 2:14). Thus we, too, should order our lives and use our liberty at the proper time, so that Christian liberty may suffer no injury, and no offense be given to our weak brothers and sisters who are still without the knowledge of this liberty. ”
“Good works are the seals and proofs of faith; for even as a letter must have a seal to strengthen the same, even so faith must have good works


On Prayer

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.
I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.
It All Depends on Jesus
So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!
“I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide.”
“When God’s righteousness is mentioned in the gospel, it is God’s action of declaring righteous the unrighteous sinner who has faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness by which a person is justified (declared righteous) is not his own but that of another, Christ.”
“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.”
“The truth of the matter is rather as Christ says, “He who is not with me is against me.” … He does not say “He who is not with me is not against me either, but merely neutral.”


Speak the Truth
“If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except that little point which the world and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
If he have 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.
The Christian
“A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.”
“If there is anything in us, it is not our own; it is a gift of God. But if it is a gift of God, then it is entirely a debt one owes to love, that is, to the law of Christ. And if it is a debt owed to love, then I must serve others with it, not myself.

Thus my learning is not my own; it belongs to the unlearned and is the debt I owe them…My wisdom belongs to the foolish, my power to the oppressed. Thus my wealth belongs to the poor, my righteousness to the sinners…
It is with all these qualities that we must stand before God and intervene on behalf of those who do not have them, as though clothed with someone else’s garment…But even before men we must, with the same love, render them service against their detractors and those who are violent toward them; for this is what Christ did for us.”
Christian Frederick Schwartz
One of the greatest of Lutheran missionaries to India was this man who was born October 26, 1726 in Sonnenburg, Prussia, Germany. He came to India and labored for the Lord for 48 years until called home. Here is something he wrote about the Lord’s Prayer.
” Let us daily be more and more fervent in prayer. With prayer we begin to be Christians…praying we end our course…
In the first petition we in fact pray to God to turn away our hearts from all vain names, (call them honour, riches, pleasure, or what else you please) because they all together cannot make us happy. To look upon them as the source of our happiness is idolatry. We beg God to enlighten our hearts, so that we may know, esteem, venerate, fear, love, and praise His name. This is the truest beginning of our conversion. All things and their names decrease and the glorious name of God increase.
The second blessing which we need is the kingdom of God. It is restored to us by Jesus Christ, containing ‘righteousness’ to cover all our sins; ‘peace,’ or a sense of the favour of God, who is now our Father, and we His children. ‘Thy kingdom, O Father, come,’ that we may be no longer separated from thee, as we deserved, but that we may be reunited unto thee.
Being turned to God and His name, and being made the children of the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ, we desire the third blessing, namely, obedience. Having received the two former blessings, we are now willing, and by the Spirit of God strengthened to renounce and to overcome our own will, (that stubborn thing,) the will of the world, and the will of the devil. We now learn daily that most difficult thing ‘Not my will, but thine be done.’
Having thus obtained mercy, we are regenerated…What do we need more? Having begun well by the grace of God, let us be ‘strong in the Lord;’ let us take care not to fall back, but to be constant. To this purpose our compassionate Savior has taught us to pray for our daily bread to control our desires after the things of this world. Godliness and contentment must go together. A very strict discipline is necessary otherwise the cares of this world enter in again, and choke the good seed.
Though we have reason to rejoice in the Lord in His mercies, yet we have no reason at all to boast and to be proud. Therefore He wants us to come daily before the throne of grace, deeply humbling ourselves on account of our daily faults, and pray, “Forgive us our trespasses.’ This humility must remain in us daily.
Being turned to the name of God; being received as His children for the sake of Jesus; being willing to obey the will of God, we are happy, and free from all condemnation. But as long as we sojourn here in the world, we are not free from trials. Let us, therefore, daily watch and pray in case we enter into temptation. Let us beg God to make us strong.
Lastly, let us daily come before the throne of mercy, pleading God to deliver us from all ignorance, from all sin, from all pain and grief; and to receive us into His glorious kingdom, where we shall weep no more where we shall rejoice forever and ever; where our prayers and supplications shall be turned into thankgivings. This hope, if lively, will refresh us.”
Pastor Koenig