“I say that man without the grace of God nonetheless remains the general omnipotence of God who effects, and moves and impels all things in a necessary infallible course; but the effect of man’s being carried along is nothing –that is, avails nothing in God’s signt nor is reckoned to be anything but sin.”
At this season of gift giving, we should stop and ask ourselves, what can I give God? What can I do to thank God who has given me everything? Here’s Martin Luther’s answer.
“A gift to God must consist of praise and thanks, or must at least not be without praise and thanks, if it is to please God. And if it is without praise and thanks, He neither wants it nor likes it, as indeed He says (Isa. 1:11): What is your sacrificing to Me? I do not want your offering of incense.
We cannot give God anything: for everything is already His, and all we have comes from Him. We can only give Him praise, thanks and honor.”
“There is no sweeter union than that in a good marriage. Nor is there any death more bitter than that which separates a married couple. Only the death of children comes close to this; how much this hurts I have myself experienced.”
“The kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power, that is, in works and practice. God loves the ‘doers of the word’ in faith and love, and not the ‘mere hearers,’ who, like parrots, have learned to utter certain expressions with readiness.“
“The first thing I ask is that people should not make use of my name and should not call themselves Lutherans but Christians. What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone. How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?”
“When the devil sees that he cannot hurt the cause of the Gospel by destructive methods,he does it under the guise of correcting and advancing the cause of the Gospel. He would like best of all to persecute us with fire and sword, but this method has availed him little because through the blood of martyrs the church has been watered. Unable to prevail by force, he engages wicked and ungodly teachers who at first make common cause with us, then claim that they are particularly called to teach the hidden mysteries of the Scriptures to superimpose upon the first principles of Christian doctrine that we teach. This sort of thing brings the Gospel into trouble. May we all cling to the Word of Christ against the wiles of the devil, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
“For God’s ancient people that time was fulfilled with Christ’s advent in the flesh, and in like manner it is still being fulfilled in our daily life, whenever a person is illumined through faith, so that our serfdom and toil under the Law come to an end. For Christ’s advent in the flesh would be useless unless it wrought in us such a spiritual advent of faith. And verily, for this reason He came in the flesh, that He might bring about such an advent in the spirit. For unto all who before or after believed in Him thus coming in the flesh, even to them He is come. Wherefore, in virtue of such faith, to the fathers of old His coming was ever present.”
“Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.”
“If as God’s Son, Jesus shed His blood to redeem us and cleanse us from sin, and if we believe this, rubbing it under the devil’s nose whenever he tries to plague and terrify us with our sins, the devil will soon be beaten; he will be forced to withdraw and to stop pestering us.”
” We must make a great difference between God’s Word and the word of man. A man’s word is a little sound, that flies into the air and soon vanishes, but the word of God is greater than heaven and earth, yea, greater than death and hell, for it forms part of the power of God and endures everlastingly.”