Luther Quote of the Day

Then Holy Scripture is open, and you will see that it teaches nothing else than the fact that God sets forth His Son, who was crucified, resurrected, and delivered for our sins. Yet this will not enter your heart, nor will you attain to the knowledge of what Christ is, unless you understand, with Scripture as your mentor, what you are before God. But you will learn this from Gen. 3:19, where it is taught that the punishment of death was inflicted on the whole human race on account of original sin, the fruits of which show how great its wickedness and perversity are. For what great rebellion and obstinacy there are in man’s earliest years! What ragings and flames of lusts, hatreds, greed, and envy there are in youth and throughout life! Although we are born without actual sins, later, as time goes on, an infinite multitude of vices bursts forth. What is the source of these foul monsters?

The philosophers Socrates and Cicero do not know. But Scripture says that we are born as children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and subject to original corruption; and the healthier, more learned, and wiser we are, the more pride and other sins we have. For nature is vitiated. But the papists interpose that it has been healed through Baptism and that sins have been forgiven. True enough; but, as Augustine says, they have not yet been removed.51 Because the papists do not know this, they never penetrate to the true light of Scripture, of the kingdom of Christ, and of theology as a whole.

To be sure, the wounds of the half-dead man have been bound up, as the parable in Luke 10:34 states. Oil and wine have been poured on them, and the gift of the Holy Spirit has begun. Nevertheless, the wounds are still deadly. Care has been taken to heal him. But he has not yet been completely restored. If you should want to say that there is no wound, that there is no danger, find out whether a half-dead man can walk, work, and do what a healthy man can do. He is carried by the beast on which he has been placed. He does not work; he does not walk. Thus through Baptism we have been taken upon God’s beast, that is, the most precious sacrifice for us, or the humanity of Christ, by which we are carried. Although we have been accepted once, yet we are cared for and healed from day to day.

Luther’s works, vol. 7: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 38-44 p 281-282


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