There Is Only One Cure

Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law.  Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 933

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I Did Nothing; I Let the Word Do Its Work

In short, I will preach it [the Word of God], teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion.  Take myself as an example.  I opposed  indulgences and all the papists, but never with force.  I simply taught, preached and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing.  And while I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Phillip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it.  I did nothing; the Word did everything.  Had I desired to foment trouble, I could have brought great bloodshed upon Germany, indeed I could have started such a game that  even the emperor would not have been safe.  But what would have it been?  Mere fool’s play.  I did nothing; I let the Word do its work.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page  199

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

Such Teaching is Childish and Effeminate Nonsense

I believe that is 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 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 ofliberty of the faith do other things which they regarded as the greatest of sins…use your freedom constantly and consistently in the sight of and despote 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 as quoted by Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At YouHoward Books;  New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 2456

The Devil Will Afflict You

For as soon as God’s Word becomes known through you, the devil will afflict you, will make a real doctor [teacher of doctrine] of you, and will teach you by his temptations to seek and to love God’s Word.  For I myself…owe my papists [Roman Catholic adversaries] many thanks for so beating, pressing and frightening me through the devil’s raging, that they have turned me into a fairly good theologian, driving me to a goal I should never have reached.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 134-135

Martin Luther on God’s Righteousness

I began to understand [that] the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith.  And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely. the passive righteousness with which [the] merciful God justifies us by faith…Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 87

Martin Luther on Original Sin

According to the apostle and the simple sense of him who is in Christ Jesus, it is not merely the lack of a quality in the will or indeed merely the lack of light in the intellect, of strength in the memory.  Rather it is a complete deprivation of all rectitude and of the ability of all the power of the body as well as the soul and of the entire inner and outer man.  In addition to this, it is an inclination to evil, a disgust at the good. a disinclination toward light and wisdom; it is love of error and darkness, a fleeing from good works and a loathing of them, a running to what is evil.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 124