Tag Archives: What Luther Says

“At the cost of His life” by Martin Luther

“By the fact that Christ is Priest He turns God into our Father, and Himself into our Lord. If I regard Him as Priest, then I know that He does nothing but sit in heaven above as our Mercy Seat and there intercedes for us before the Father without ceasing, pleads on our behalf, and says the best for us.

This is the greatest comfort that can come to a human being, and no sweeter sermon can be preached to the human heart. This He has proved in the Gospel by everything He says and does. For He does nothing but serve and help people and offer Himself to everybody.

In addition, in order to atone for us, He burdens Himself at the cost of His life and blood with all the wrath which we have deserved. Is it possible to preach anything more comforting than this to troubled consciences?”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 552, pp. 190-191. Luther was commenting on Gen. 14:17-24.

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“He sent Him into our misery” by Martin Luther

“God so loved us as to be willing to pay the price of His only, dearest Child. Him He sent into our misery, hell, and death, and let Him drain these to the dregs. This is the way to be saved.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 550, p. 189. Luther was commenting on John 3:16.

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“Christ must be everything” by Martin Luther

“After all, Christ must be everything: the beginning, the middle, and the end of our salvation. We must lay Him down as the first or foundation stone, rest the others and intermediate ones on Him, and also attach the rafters or the roof to Him.

He is the first, the middle, and the last rung in the ladder to heaven. Through Him we must begin, must continue, and must complete our progress to life.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 545, p. 187. Luther was commenting on John 14:6.

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“The work of the Holy Spirit” by Martin Luther

“This is the office and work of the Holy Spirit: to reveal through the Gospel what great and glorious things God has done for us through Christ, namely, that He has redeemed us from sin, death, and the devil’s power; that He has taken us into His grace and protection; and that He has given Himself utterly and entirely for us.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 2045, 662.

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“This great love and blessing” by Martin Luther

“How does one come to love? The heart of man is so base that it cannot love unless it has first seen the benefit of loving… God took His Son and sent Him into our mire, sin, and misery and poured forth the entire story of His mercy that we might boast of all His goods as though they were our own.

He made Himself a beloved Father and He gave us His Son, poured out His great treasure most generously and sank and drowned all our sins and filth in the vast sea of His great goodness so that the heart cannot but let this great love and blessing draw it to love in return and then be prepared willingly to fulfill the divine commandments.

Otherwise the heart cannot love. It must find that it has been loved first. One cannot love first. Therefore God comes, takes hold of the heart, and says: Learn to know Me.– Why, who are you?– I am Christ. I have plunged into your wretchedness. I have drowned your sin in My righteousness.

This knowledge softens your heart. Therefore you cannot but turn to Him. In this way– when one learns what Christ is– love is taught.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 2564, 825.

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“Some pastors are lazy and no good” by Martin Luther

“Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They rely on these and other good books to get a sermon out of them. They do not pray; they do not study; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture. It is just as if there were no need to read the Bible for this purpose.

They use such books as offer them homiletical helps in order to earn their yearly living; they are nothing but parrots and jackdaws, which learn to repeat without understanding, though our purpose and the purpose of these theologians is to direct preachers to Scripture with such books and exhort them to plan to defend our Christian faith after death, against the devil, the world, and the flesh…

Therefore the call is: Watch, study, attend to reading. In truth, you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read you cannot read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well.

Believe a man who has found this out. It is the devil, it is the world, it is our flesh that are raging and raving against us. Therefore, dear sirs and brethren, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent. Truly, this evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring. Use the gift that has been entrusted to you, and reveal the mystery of Christ.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 3547, 1110.

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“When I preach at Wittenberg” by Martin Luther

“Maledictions upon every preacher who strives after the sublime in the church with an eye to his own glory, ambitious to gain the favor of someone or another. When I preach at Wittenberg, I descend to the lowest level.

I do not look at the doctors and magistrates, of whom about forty are present, but at the hundred or so young people. To these I preach; to these I address myself. They need instruction. If the others do not want to listen– the door is open.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 3574, p.1118-1119.

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