A Moment With Martin

martin luther

I feel the terrors of hell and the nearness of death’s hour; but if I have Christ, I have come to the consummation, and neither death nor sin nor devil can harm me. For if I believe in Christ, I have fulfilled the Law, and it cannot accuse me. I have conquered hell, and it cannot hold me. All that Christ has is mine. Through Him we acquire all His goods and eternal life. Even if my faith is feeble, I still have the selfsame treasure and the selfsame Christ that others have. There is no difference. Faith in Him makes us all perfect, but works do not.

We might compare this to two persons who possess a hundred guldens. The one may carry them in a paper sack, the other may keep them in an iron chest. But for all that, both possess the entire treasure. Thus the Christ whom you and I own is one and the same, regardless of the strength or the weakness of your faith or of mine. In Him we possess all, whether we hold Him with a strong faith or a weak faith.

Martin Luther
Luther’s Works, AE 23:28,
Sermons on the Gospel of St. John,
John 6:29

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One Comment on “A Moment With Martin”

  1. John Bradshaw Says:

    Thx very much Sean. A great quote focussing on the substitute. Very comforting for guilty sinners. It reminded me of what Bonar wrote in Not What My Hands Have Done, chapter 2:
    “What should we have said to the Israelite, who, on bringing his lamb to the tabernacle, should puzzle himself with questions as to the right mode of laying his hands on the head of the victim and who should refuse to take any comfort from the sacrifice because he was not sure whether he had laid them aright – on the proper place, in the right direction, with adequate pressure, or in the best attitude? Should we not have told him that his own actings concerning the lamb were not the lamb, yet he was speaking as if they were? Should we not have told him that the lamb was everything and his touch nothing as to virtue or merit or recommendation? Should we not have told him to be of good cheer, not because he had laid his hands on the victim in the most approved fashion, but because they had touched that victim – however lightly and imperfectly – and thereby said, Let this lamb stand for me, answer for me, die for me? The touching had no virtue in itself. Therefore the excellency of the act was no question to come up at all: It simply intimated the man’s desire that this sacrifice should be taken instead of himself as God’s appointed way of pardon. It was simply the indication of his consent to God’s way of saving him by the substitution of another. The point for him to settle was not, Was my touch right or wrong, light or heavy? but, Was it the touch of the right lamb – the lamb appointed by God for the taking away of sin?

    The quality or quantity of faith is not the main question for the sinner. That which he needs to know is that Jesus died and was buried and rose again, according to the Scriptures. This knowledge is life everlasting.”

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