Martin Luther on Sin

“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.”

Martin Luther

For more Martin Luther quotes see:

Martin Luther Quote on the Psalms #2

A Quote from Martin Luther

Martin Luther on Hope

Martin Luther on Sin

“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.”

For more Martin Luther quotes see:

Martin Luther on Uncertainty

A Quote from Martin Luther

Martin Luther on Facing Challenges

Martin Luther on God’s Word

” 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.”

Martin Luther

Martin Luther Quote #2 on Facing Challenges

“Suffering is the school in which God chastens us and teaches us to trust in him so that our faith may not always stay in our ears and hover on our lips but may have its true dwelling place in the depths of our hearts. Your grace is now in this school.” Martin Luther

For more quotes by Martin Luther see these posts:

Martin Luther on Hope

Martin Luther on Baptism

Martin Luther on God’s Victory Over Death

Martin Luther on Facing Challenges

“Inasmuch as tribulation serves the same purpose as rhubarb, myrrh, aloes, or an antidote against all the worms, poison, decay, and dung of this body of death, it ought not to be despised. We must not willingly seek or select afflictions, but we must accept those which God sees fit to visit upon us, for he knows which are suitable and salutary for us and how many and how heavy they should be.”

Martin Luther

For more Martin Luther quotes see:

Martin Luther on Uncertainty

Martin Luther on Charity

Martin Luther on Youth

Martin Luther on Doing Good

It is easy enough to do good once or twice, but to keep on doing good without getting disgusted with the ingratitude of those whom we have benefited, that is not so easy.

Martin Luther

For more quotes on Martin Luther, follow these links:

Martin Luther on the Fruit of the Spirit

Martin Luther on God’s Victory Over Death

Martin Luther on Sin


The Great Pope, Self

This quote was part of my devotional reading this morning.  The author is Hannah Whitall Smith, a Quaker.

“The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self.  The most difficult thing we have to manage is self.  Our own daily living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, and our peculiar temperaments–our inward affairs of every kind–these are the things that perplex and worry us more than anything else, and that bring us oftenest into bondage and darkness.  In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself.  You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feelings, all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there.  He made you and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it.”

This reminded me of one of Martin Luther’s quotes:

“I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.”

I agree with both of these great Christians, that the most besetting sin I deal with is selfishness.  It’s hard to sacrifice my own comfort, desires and preferences for somebody else.  Yet our calling as Christians is to put others first.  I can only hope to do this in small steps, day by day because selfishness is my default position.  Often I fail, but I keep plodding away.  I try to help when asked.  I try to give more generously.  I try to not expect more from others than they are willing to give. I try to have patience (this s a hard one).  I try to trust God in this process of sanctification.  In a class I took years ago about spiritual direction, we were told to know our own sinful tendencies and ‘lean away from them.”  How about you?  Do you struggle with the great pope, self?  How do you lean away from it?

For more Hannah Whitall quotes see these posts:

What Damages our Spiritual Life? (according to Hannah Whitall Smith)

How to Recognize a Christian

For more Martin Luther quotes see these posts:

Martin Luther on Serving Others

Martin Luther on Sin




Martin Luther on the Apocryphal Book of Tobit

We’ve been studying the Apocrypha in Sunday School, and I posted previously on what the apocrypha is What is the Apocrypha?.  I came across this quote from Martin Luther about the book of Tobit, and thought our readers might find it of interest, as I did.   Evidentally Luther found some moral value in this book, remembering, of course, that the Apocrypha is not Scripture.

Tobit shows how things may go badly with a pious peasant or townsman, and there may be suffering in married life, yet God always graciously helps and finally crowns the outcome with joy, in order that married folk should learn to have patience and, in genuine fear of God and firm faith, put up gladly with all sorts of hardships because they have hope.” (Martin Luther in his Preface to the Book of Tobit)

For more quotes from Martin Luther about marriage, see these posts:

Martin Luther on Marriage

Martin Luther on Marriage #2

Martin Luther on Marriage #3

Martin Luther on Marriage #4


The Greatest Trial — A Quote by Martin Luther

“This is the most dangerous trial of all, when there is no trial and every thing goes well; for then a man is tempted to forget God, to become too bold and to misuse times of prosperity.” 

Martin Luther

For more quotes by Martin Luther see these posts:

Martin Luther on Death and a New Beginning

A Thought From Martin Luther

Bear One Another’s Burdens by Martin Luther


Send Me

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’  Then I said, ‘Here I am, send me.'” Isaiah 6:8

My husband and I watched a show on television recently.  One of the main characters, a detective, had a post-it note on the dash of her car with this verse from Isaiah.  When she was asked about it, she said, that was how she viewed her job.  When things were a mess and bad things happened, God sent her in to help. Wow!  Wouldn’t it be great if we all looked at our lives this way?

Martin Luther would certainly approve, because he believed that every Christian had a vocation — not just priests and nuns.  Here’s what he had to say:

“Every occupation has its own honor before God.  Ordinary work is a divine vocation or calling.  In our daily work no matter how important or mundane, we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s on-going providence for the human race.”

Think of it this way — we’re all on a mission from God, called to spread His love and His Gospel in the place where we’re been planted.   We can influence our environment in a good way or a bad way.  We can think of our work as boring and unimportant, or as a way to help and serve others.  When I worked at a hospital, buying inventory items, my boss had a sign placed in our warehouse that read:  “The supplies that go through these doors save lives.”  That helped me to understand that even if I was not a doctor or nurse, the work I did contributed to healing others. So did the work of every receiving clerk or warehouse employee.

Of course, there is also the work of simply being kind, respecting others, praying for our fellow workers, helping one another and so on.  Our occupation should not be unconnected from our spiritual life — it should be a place where we live out what we learn in church and Bible study every week.

You’ve been called.  Have you answered?

For more on Christian vocation see these posts:

What’s Your Vocation?

The Mission of the Layperson

Stewardship of Our Life