Luther Quote of the Day

Historical faith37 does not rely on the Word or trust in it. No, it says: “I hear that Christ suffered and died, etc.” But true faith judges as follows: “I believe that Christ suffered and died for me, etc. About this I have no doubt, and in this faith I find rest. I trust in that Word in opposition to death and sin.”

This light and grace God has revealed to us at this time. For this we should be thankful. And of this faith Jacob is an excellent example in these words, which certainly contain matters of the greatest weight and importance. For Jacob does not die with a doubting and hesitating heart, but with the most certain and steadfast faith he proclaims: “God will be with you.” Thus he has life in death, and he lives when he is dead. He is full of confidence when he is conducted to the grave, for he trusts in God and His promises. This faith swallows up death. This is not the historical knowledge of God’s deeds, which has to do with events only and neither fights nor stands immovable against death and hell in time of trial. Even the devil has faith or knowledge of this kind. But this is faith in the promise, which gives God the honor of being truthful, which believes His Word and trusts in Him. This faith conquers death and, together with Paul, scoffs at it and says: “O death, where is thy sting? Where is thy victory? (1 Cor. 15:55.) Even though you have devoured me, I will return to the light and to life.”

Such passages should be set before the church for the sake of the examples of the very saintly men who have held a light before us with their completely steadfast faith, which we, too, should learn to follow and imitate in order that we may glory by saying: “I have been baptized. I have been absolved. In this faith I die. No matter what trials and cares confront me from now on, I will certainly not be shaken; for He who said: ‘He who believes and is baptized will be saved’ (Mark 16:16) and ‘Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (Matt. 16:19) and ‘This is My body. This is My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins’ (cf. Matt. 26:26, 28)—He cannot deceive or lie. This is certainly true.”

Luther’s works, vol. 8: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 45-50

p 193-194


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