Thursday, February 07, 2008

Notes from Luther



I'm working on a talk for Plymouth CU on Galatians 4v8-5v1.
That led me to Martin Luther who has some juicy words on that fine letter...
"Let the Law, sin, and the devil cry out against us until their outcry fills heaven and earth. The Spirit of God outcries them all. Our feeble groans, “Abba, Father,” will be heard of God sooner than the combined racket of hell, sin, and the Law." -- Luther on Galatians 4.

"We may now say to the Law: Mister Law, you have lost your throne to Christ. I am free now and a son of God. You cannot curse me any more.” Do not permit the Law to lie in your conscience. Your conscience belongs to Christ. Let Christ be in it and not the Law. As the children of God we are the heirs of His eternal heaven. What a wonderful gift heaven is, man’s heart cannot conceive, much less describe." -- Luther on Galatians 4v7

"Paul seems to identify their defection from the Gospel to the Law with their former idolatry. Indeed he does. Whoever gives up the article of justification does not know the true God. It is one and the same thing whether a person reverts to the Law or to the worship of idols. When the article of justification is lost, nothing remains except error, hypocrisy, godlessness, and idolatry." -- Luther on Galatians 4v8-9
Irrelevant to the talk (probably) Luther also said....

“I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away. When he tempts me with silly sins I say, ‘Devil, yesterday I broke wind too. Have you written it down on your list?’” -- Luther and theology of farting
Not actually so irrelevant. The ploys of the Galatians false teachers no doubt included accusation of sin, with appeal that their devilish new books on Cutting off your sin and Banish the bacon sandwich would help them to deal with their sin. Sin which they certainly committed. But sin that could not condemn them since their righteousness was in Christ. They already had the blessing of Abraham, simply by hearing with faith the gospel of Christ Crucified that Paul preached. They already had new life as sons, receivers of the Holy Spirit, inheritors of all things!

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