It Is Not Enough to Preach the Works, Life and Words of Christ

I believe that it has now become clear that it is not enough or in any sense “Christian” to preach the works, life and words of Christ…as if the knowledge of these would suffice for the conduct of life…Yet, this is the fashion among those who today [1500s] are regarded as our best preachers…and such teaching is childish and effeminate nonsense.

Rather ought Christ to be preached to the end that faith in Him may be established that he may not only be Christ, but be Christ for you and me, and that which is said of Him and is denoted in His name may be effectual in us.  Such faith is produced and preserved in us by preaching why Christ came, what he brought and bestowed, what benefit it is to us to accept Him…What person is there whose heart, upon hearing these things, will not  rejoice to its depth and when receiving such comfort will not grow tender so that they will love Christ as they never could by means of any law or work?

There are some who have no understanding to hear the truth of freedom and insist upon their goodness as means for salvation.  These people you must resist, do the very opposite and offend them boldly lest by their impious views they drag many with them into error.  For the sake of liberty of the faith do other things which they regarded as the greatest of sins…use your freedom constantly and consistently inthe sight of and despite the tyrants and stubborn so that they may learn that they are impious, that their law and works are of no avail for righteousness and that they had no right to set them up.

– Luther, Martin

as quoted by Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At YouHoward Books;  New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 2493

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