1. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. He especially commends God’s goodness above wisdom and power, because in setting forth Christ, it is especially the goodness that shines forth. However, there are two kinds of men who do not give thanks to the Lord because He is good. The first kind is that of the despairing, who certainly believe that He can and knows how to save, but they do not believe that He also is willing to do it, measuring the divine will according to their own will. The second kind is that of the presumptuous, who regard themselves as good and self-sufficient, as if they did not need divine goodness. And these presume to climb up to equality with God, because they want to be what God is, namely, good in themselves. But the former remove and deny God altogether, because they do not believe His goodness. Both are very bad; but this last kind is worse, although also the first includes some denial of God, namely, when they want to be equal to God, who alone is most high. Therefore we should confess that goodness belongs to the Lord, and we should deny it to ourselves, and so we will be saved. But we should not therefore despair, because we do not have it, yea, we should hope all the more, because God alone has it.
Luther’s works, vol. 11: First Lectures 2