Luther Quote of the Day

Now, the majority of the Jews, misled by the priests, observed the sacrifices with the idea that through them they obtained forgiveness of sins. This was to put the blood of a bull on the same level as the blood of Christ, and the sacrifice of a brute on the same level as the sacrifice of the Son of God. Because such wickedness was confirmed by these wicked opinions about the sacrifices of the Law, the Prophets so seriously inveighed against sacrifices—not because of their formal cause but because of their final cause. The sacrifices were mostly in the place assigned by God and according to the commandment of God, so that as far as the form was concerned there was nothing to criticize. But the final cause was diabolical. Thus we condemned the Masses of our opponents not because it is wicked to celebrate the Lord’s Supper—we also celebrate it religiously—but because they attach their wicked notions about the value of performing the act itself, about its application to the living and the dead, and the like. Thus in Baptism we do not leave anything to the performance of the act itself, but we say that faith is required, which accepts the grace that is offered in Baptism. Just as David had his enemies who opposed him because of this teaching, so also we are forced to bear our opponents’ insults, hate, excommunications, and the like, all because of this teaching.

Our theology should remain fixed and firm also in this teaching. We teach that in the matter of justification, when the issue is how to strengthen consciences and take away sin, neither the ceremonial nor the moral laws avail. They were not established with the purpose of attaining righteousness through them, as Paul generalizes (Gal. 3:21): “No law was given which could make alive, therefore righteousness cannot be by the Law.” Here only mercy avails, which God has revealed in the sacrifice of Christ, and faith, which takes hold of that mercy or sacrifice of Christ. Therefore ceremonies, whether the Law’s or ours, are holy and good, but for their purpose. Moral works are also very good, but for their purpose. But for the purpose of justification they are not only useless but absolutely nothing, because this purpose belongs only to the sacrifice of Christ. In comparison with its worthiness, all ceremonies of the Law, all moral works, are nothing.

Psalm 51

This excellent exposition of the Fifty-first Psalm by the
Reverend Father Dr. Martin Luther has been published for the
glory of Christ and the good of the church

Luther’s works, vol. 12:
Selected Psalms
p 399-400

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Who sought after the lost sheep and the lost piece of silver? Was it not the loser? But who was the loser? Was it not he who once possessed them? Who, then, was that? Was it not he to whom they belonged? Since, then, man is the property of none other than the Creator, He possessed Him who owned him; He lost him who once possessed him; He sought him who lost him; He found him who sought him; He rejoiced who found him. Therefore the purport of neither parable has anything whatever to do with him to whom belongs neither the sheep nor the piece of silver, that is to say, man.  For he lost him not, because he possessed him not; and he sought him not, because he lost him not; and he found him not, because he sought him not; and he rejoiced not, because he found him not.  Therefore, to rejoice over the sinner’s repentance—that is, at the recovery of lost man—is the attribute of Him who long ago professed that He would rather that the sinner should repent and not die.

Tertullian

Anti-Marcion Writings

The Five Books Against Marcion
Book Four

ch xxxii

Luther Quote of the Day

 

“And my tongue will extol Thy righteousness.” This belongs to the proclamation of the Word; as if he were to say: “When I have thus been absolved before the world and justified before Thee and before men, then with my tongue I can extol, that is, joyfully announce and preach Thy righteousness, that is, Thy grace, by which Thou dost forgive sins and have mercy.” This term “righteousness” really caused me much trouble. They generally explained that righteousness is the truth by which God deservedly condemns or judges those who have merited evil. In opposition to righteousness they set mercy, by which believers are saved. This explanation is most dangerous, besides being vain, because it arouses a secret hate against God and His righteousness. Who can love Him if He wants to deal with sinners according to righteousness? Therefore remember that the righteousness of (God is that by which we are justified, or the gift of the forgiveness of sins. This righteousness in God is pleasant, because it makes of (God not a righteous Judge but a forgiving Father, who wants to use His righteousness not to judge but to justify and absolve sinners. “This Thy righteousness,” he says, “not the righteousness of men or of Moses, I shall preach with joy and gladness, even though thereby all men should become my enemies. Only do this: Absolve me before the church so that I can go into public without shame and not blush because of sins that are also known to the church.” This is a wonderful example to comfort those who are in the ministry of the Word and still are blameworthy because of their past deeds. I have said that a specific case is here broadened into a general teaching.

Psalm 51

This excellent exposition of the Fifty-first Psalm by the
Reverend Father Dr. Martin Luther has been published for the
glory of Christ and the good of the church

Luther’s works, vol. 12:
Selected Psalms
p 392-393

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Whose kingdom shall I wish to come—his, of whom I never heard as the king of glory; or His, in whose hand are even the hearts of kings? Who shall give me my daily bread? Shall it be he who produces for me not a grain of millet-seed; or He who even from heaven gave to His people day by day the bread of angels? Who shall forgive me my trespasses? He who, by refusing to judge them, does not retain them; or He who, unless He forgives them, will retain them, even to His judgment? Who shall suffer us not to be led into temptation? He before whom the tempter will never be able to tremble; or He who from the beginning has beforehand condemned4 the angel tempter? If any one, with such a form, invokes another god and not the Creator, he does not pray; he only blasphemes.

Tertullian

Anti-Marcion Writings

The Five Books Against Marcion
Book Four

ch xxvi

Luther Quote of the Day

This can be summarized as follows. The prophet acknowledges the grace that he has the forgiveness of sins and a gracious God. Therefore he prays against the danger which especially Satan tries to arouse. He prays that he might not be carried over into other opinions, but that this knowledge of divine kindness might daily grow more and more. In everything we do or experience we should have a happy heart and know that for Christ’s sake we are in grace and that everything we do pleases God, even the fact that out of the needs of the body we eat and drink and do our work. Thus our heart should remain pure in the eternal and sound knowledge of God and in trust toward God through Christ, and it should believe that everything we are pleases God, not because of some merit or worthiness of ours, which is all polluted, but because of the gift of faith, that we believe in Christ.

Psalm 51

This excellent exposition of the Fifty-first Psalm by the
Reverend Father Dr. Martin Luther has been published for the
glory of Christ and the good of the church

Luther’s works, vol. 12:
Selected Psalms
p 379