Luther Quote of the Day

2. When I will take time, I will judge righteousnesses. First, Christ does this in all. But anyone of His people likewise does the same in himself, because he abhors and judges his own righteousnesses, while he confesses to God alone and calls on His name. But they who do not judge their own righteousnesses but preserve and defend them assuredly do not confess to God but to themselves and their own strength. Therefore they cannot call on God, since they are the kind of people who do not need the glory of God because they would rather seek their own. John 5:44: “How can you believe, you who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from God alone?” The glow of God is our confession and prayer.

Psalm 75

Luther’s works, vol. 10: First Lectures I

Psalms 1-75

p 455

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Walther Quote of the Day

How foolish them, is a preacher who thinks: “Now I will let loose the thunder of the Law. I will describe hell in all its detail and paint them a real picture of damnation, and then they will shape up!” That will not improve the people at all. That has to happen in its own time, so that secure sinners are alarmed and become poor, contrite sinners. But the Law does not produce a change of heart, love of God, and love of one’s fellow human being. If anyone is motivated by the Law to do certain good works, he does them only because he is forced, just as the Israelites had to be forced by the covenant of the Law.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 433

Luther Quote of the Day

7. They have set fire (by zeal and jealousy) to Thy sanctuary (that is, by stirring up Thy synagog, Thy people against Thee, Christ, their Lord); they have defiled the dwelling place of Thy name. For Thy name was invoked upon the people of the synagog and was present among them. They themselves should have been Thy sanctuary, as they once were. But behold, they have been set on fire and defiled by their masters and Thy enemies. They have said, their whole relationship together (that is, their descendants with them): Let us silence all the festival days of God from the earth (v. 8), that is, “Let us not perform the spiritual solemnites and days in the heart to Christ, who is God.” Not that they call Him God. But the prophet gives that name to Him whom they deny as God, and therefore they offer Him no worship, neither inwardly nor outwardly. And thus they truly abolish all, that is, both festival days of Christ from the earth (that is, from the people of the synagog). He who does not honor Christ does not honor God, and he who withholds from Christ also withholds from God. Hence the whole psalm is properly directed to the person of Christ.

Psalm 74

Luther’s works, vol. 10: First Lectures I

Psalms 1-75

p 443-444

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Different modes of engrafting illustrative of different kinds of conversion.

They say that engrafting is effected in four modes: one, that in which the graft must be fitted in between the wood and the bark; resembling the way in which we instruct plain people belonging to the Gentiles, who receive the word superficially. Another is, when the wood is cleft, and there is inserted in it the cultivated branch. And this applies to the case of those who have studied philosophy; for on cutting through their dogmas, the acknowledgment of the truth is produced in them. So also in the case of the Jews, by opening up the Old Testament, the new and noble plant of the olive is inserted. The third mode of engrafting applies to rustics and heretics, who are brought by force to the truth. For after smoothing off both suckers with a sharp pruning-hook, till the pith is laid bare, but not wounded, they are bound together. And the fourth is that form of engrafting called budding. For a bud (eye) is cut out of a trunk of a good sort, a circle being drawn round in the bark along with it, of the size of the palm. Then the trunk is stripped, to suit the eye, over an equal circumference. And so the graft is inserted, tied round, and daubed with clay, the bud being kept uninjured and unstained. This is the style of gnostic teaching, which is capable of looking into things themselves. This mode is, in truth, of most service in the case of cultivated trees. And “the engrafting into the good olive” mentioned by the apostle, may be [engrafting into] Christ Himself; the uncultivated and unbelieving nature being transplanted into Christ—that is, in the case of those who believe in Christ. But it is better [to understand it] of the engrafting of each one’s faith in the soul itself. For also the Holy Spirit is thus somehow transplanted by distribution, according to the circumscribed capacity of each one, but without being circumscribed.

Clement of Alexandria

The Stormata, or Miscellanies

Book 6

ch xv

Walther Quote of the Day

We absolve people from their sins for no other reason than for our parishioners to believe what is being proclaimed from the pulpit. Accordingly, none of them can say, “How can the pastor know the condition of my heart? What good is Absolution if I do not repent?” Answer: “Indeed, in this particular case there is no benefit. But there is a benefit when you believe in your Absolution. But this is certain: you are absolved. And for this reason your eternal punishment would be all the more dreadful if you did not believe the Absolution that God Himself announced to all sinners and that He ordered His pastors to continue to announce to them.”

This applies to the Sacraments as well. The water in Baptism saves us. When the Lord offers communicants the blessed brea and says, “This is My body, which is given for you,” it is plain that He means to tell them that they must believe or His body would not benefit them. A person who believes that Christ, by sacrificing HIs body, has paid for the communicant’s sins can leave the altar rejoicing and exulting. When the Lord offers the blessed cup and says, “This is My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” He emphasizes the words “for the forgiveness of sins.” This causes every communicant who believes these words to shout with joy when he goes home from church after Communion.

Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition)
p 422-423

Luther Quote of the Day

23. Thou hast held me by my right hand. The right hand denotes happiness, prosperity, and success and, as it were, the good will of fortune, as the left hand denotes adversity and hindrances. But the right hand of the righteous is the favor and grace of God, by which they live, go forward prosperously, and reign. The left hand is their earthly misfortune. Conversely the right hand of the wicked is the right hand of wickedness and prosperity in earthly things. That is where they fix their right hand and make their choice. And this is understood in a moral sense. [Ps. 1:3 tells us what the right hand of the righteous is: “Whatsoever he does will prosper.” The hands are works. Prosperous works denote the right hand and the works before God, because He is my right hand. Thus Ps. 45:4 says: “Set out, proceed prosperously.” Allegorically it refers to the church, which stands at the right hand. Anagogically it is the future church that is to be established at the right hand. Morally, as I have said, it is the grace of faith. And Christ holds the right hand of His own, namely, the spirit. But the flesh is the left hand.

The world is always and in all things opposed to Christ, as Pomponius Mela writes about Egypt. Therefore what is the right hand for one is the left hand for the other, as is clear when two people face each other, for the one is to the left of the other. Jacob, who did not like this sign, changed hands, putting his right hand on the one whom Joseph had stationed at his left (Gen. 48:14).

It is the same way with other positions. What is above for one is below for the other, and vice versa. What one carries on the head, another crushes with his feet. For to the ungodly the things of the world are above them, and they carry them on their shoulders. But heavenly things they tread underfoot. The saints, on the contrary, tread on the world and have heavenly things above them on their shoulders. Thus in Ps. 60:6 Shechem, that is, “the shoulder,” is divided, so that the ungodly carry earthly things, while the saints carry heavenly things. Therefore to the question whether they are on opposite ends of the pole the answer is, “Indeed they are.” For they turn the feet where we turn the head, and we turn the feet where they turn the head.

In the same manner, what is before one is behind the other, and vice versa. Hence the last are first, and the first last (Matt. 19:30; 20:16). So the right are left, and the left right. So the lower are upper, and the upper lower, from different points of view. Similarly, in other matters, as here is nowhere, nowhere is here. The living are dead, and the dead living; the poor are rich, and the rich poor; the lords are slaves, and the slaves lords; the naked are clothed, and the clothed naked. [Seneca said, “He is nowhere who is everywhere.” Again, “He who is in one is everywhere.” So also Bernard and Scipio: “I am never less alone than when I am alone”].

Psalm 73

Luther’s works, vol. 10: First Lectures I

Psalms 1-75

p 420-422