Luther Quote of the Day

For, as I have stated, if we could believe what an important thing the forgiveness of sins is, even of those sins that still exist and are left in the flesh, namely, that God does not want to impute these sins and condemn us on their account, yes, wants to deal with us as if no sin adhered to us, to crown us with eternal life, and to be our Father, and wants us to be His children and to be saved forever, as is stated: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16)—then we would Finally understand this. For those who believe are saintly asses and foals tied to the vine and drunk with the Holy Spirit.

Thus the saintly martyrs and the saintly maidens Agatha, Lucia, and many others were bound to the vine. They regarded death as a game and sin and hell as nothing. They were completely certain of the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and the best intention of the Father. Even in the midst of death they were joyful and fearless.

Thus they say concerning the exceptionally distinguished martyr Vincentius that when, after first being struck with clubs and later tortured with the rack, he was compelled to go on bare feet through live coals, he said that he was walking on roses.45 In this way he made fun of the savage tortures and laughed at the burning coals and the glowing iron as though it were a game and a joke. All this shows how great the riches of the promise of Shiloh are.

If we believe, then if death must be faced, or if plague, hunger, war, and all the fury of the devil and hell assail, we, too, should say: “I could defecate on you, devil, etc.” This is certainly how the church believes, and it still displays the same stoutheartedness. For this is what it means to be drunk with the wine of the Holy Spirit and to speak of the great works of God in new tongues. And this is also what the prophets looked at, as we read in Amos 9:13: “The mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.” The kingdom of Christ is a precious rule. He who believes that he has a gracious God as his Father, and that Christ, the Son of God, has abolished death, sin, hell, and the devil, should he not rejoice and exult? Indeed, he should even go through iron mountains and adversities of every kind with a fearless and invincible heart, and he should conclude that everything is flowing with honey, milk, and wine; yes, he should praise God with the height of joy and gratitude, now no longer as one who is mortal but as one who is living an eternal life.

This is surely how we all should feel. For these are the promises in Christ, as Paul says. They do not give a pouch full of gold and silver. No, they give a heart full of joy, of peace, and of a guarantee concerning eternal life. All this we see in the apostles Peter and Paul as well as in the martyrs Vincentius and others who are not disturbed, even though Annas and Caiaphas are angry, and who despise the threats of these men just as the angels in heaven despise them.

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

p 255-256


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