Luther Quote of the Day

5. A pious man is merciful and willing to lend.

There is a threefold Christian use of temporal goods, and besides these three there is also a secular use. The first Christian use is for me to allow my goods to be taken from me, to let myself be cheated, duped, and imposed upon. If some knave were to come and rob or steal that which is mine or deceive me with sweet words and cheat me, he has done me little harm, taking only the crust of my bread but not Him who sits above. He harms himself more than me, taking my crusts, a poor plate of bread, while acquiring an ungracious and angry God for himself. I still keep Him who is in heaven, who owns all things, where I have my real treasure which no thief can steal (Matt. 6:20).

The second use is to donate and give to him who asks. However, we must give in such a way that we do not give away other people’s possessions. One must not steal to give to other people.

The third use is to lend what is mine and then not to demand its return, whether it returns to me or not. But one can see how common these three things are. They are unknown to the world, and few people know about them. Besides these three uses there is another, a secular one: buying and selling, giving one thing for another. This is something for the lawyers. The prophet here speaks of lending, the rarest Christian use, which is to be found most seldom among Christians.

Psalm • 112

Of wealth, fame, and pleasure
as these are correctly used by the righteous
and misused by the godless

Translated by
Daniel E. Poellot

Luther’s works, vol. 13:
Selected Psalms II
p 408

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Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

I am accustomed in my prescription against all heresies, to fix my compendious criterion6057 (of truth) in the testimony of time; claiming priority therein as our rule, and alleging lateness to be the characteristic of every heresy. This shall now be proved even by the apostle, when he says: “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is unto all the world.” For if, even at that time, the tradition of the gospel had spread everywhere, how much more now! Now, if it is our gospel which has spread everywhere, rather than any heretical gospel, much less Marcion’s, which only dates from the reign of Antoninus, then ours will be the gospel of the apostles.  But should Marcion’s gospel succeed in filling the whole world, it would not even in that case be entitled to the character of apostolic. For this quality, it will be evident, can only belong to that gospel which was the first to fill the world; in other words, to the gospel of that God who of old declared this of its promulgation: “Their sound is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

Tertullian

Anti-Marcion Writings

The Five Books Against Marcion
Book Five

ch xix

Luther Quote of the Day

8: The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Now, if you are afraid to go to the Sacrament, and your conscience frightens you, as if you were unworthy, put this verse into your heart and on your lips. Then you must hear and feel how sincerely He calls and invites you. He is here and is waiting for you with hands and heart wide open, for you to take and receive grace and mercy. He does not want you to flee and shy away from Him but to flee to Him and with full confidence go to Him. Here he is called nothing but this: the gracious and merciful Lord. Do not give Him a different name in your heart or make Him anything else in your conscience. You would do Him an injustice and a great wrong, and yourself the greatest harm. For if you call Him something else or think of Him otherwise in your heart, you make Him a liar and reject this verse; for then you believe your deceitful heart more than you do God and His sweet and tender words. Then you make yourself your own idol and worship yourself and are afraid of yourself, as the saying goes: “He is afraid of his own shadow.”

Whoever is inclined to put pictures on the altar ought to have the Lord’s Supper of Christ painted, with these two verses written around it in golden letters: “The gracious and merciful Lord has instituted a remembrance of His wonderful works.” Then they would stand before our eyes for our heart to contemplate them, and even our eyes, in reading, would have to thank and praise God. Since the altar is designated for the administration of the Sacrament, one could not find a better painting for it. Other pictures of God or Christ can be painted somewhere else.

Thus this verse expresses not merely the friut and benefit of the Sacrament—that it is a gracious and merciful institution in which one should seek and find grace and mercy—but it also exalts the remembrance of Christ. What is the suffering of Christ but pure grace and mercy, offered, given, and imparted to us through the Sacrament? It is grace that He shows us all His benefits and by His blood brings us from sin to righteousness, from death to life, from the devil to God. It is mercy that He unceasingly forgives our sin and spares and endures our ingratitude and all wickedness in which we are still bound as long as we live in the flesh. All this He earned for us, once and for all, by His suffering, and daily offers and gives us by His remembrance and Sacrament, actually driving us to it with sweet and gentle words.

But He cannot be gracious and merciful toward the work-righteous, who make a sacrifice and merit out of the remembrance and Sacrament and otherwise teach nothing but works. They will not let it be the remembrance of Him. Therefore He must be angry and furious with them. They want it that way, for they pervert this verse thus: “He has instituted a sacrifice, that stern and severe Judge.” In their Mass they want to reconcile Him as an angry tyrant, and do not seek to receive mercy and grace from Him, but sacrifice, and offer their own works to Him to appease His anger. And as they hold Him to be an angry Judge, so they also find Him. As they believe, so it is done to them. If He is to be gracious and give blessings, it must be toward those who need the blessings. If He is to be merciful and patient, it must be toward those who need it. But they do not need it, for their acts and conduct are nothing but holiness and righteousness. They have no need of grace or mercy, for on their own they have so much excess holiness that they can sell it to others and sacrifice and gain merit for them. What, then, can the gracious and merciful Lord do? He must have poor sinners, wretched consciences, and sorrowing hearts, where He can apply His grace and mercy for His praise and honor.

Psalm • 111

Translated by
Daniel E. Poellot

Luther’s works, vol. 13:
Selected Psalms II
p 374-376

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

I. The controversies which the Formula of Concord was mean to settle, had produced incalculable mischief in the Church, and absolutely needed settlement, if the Church was to be saved. 

1. The time was one of mighty agitations and of strong convictions. Every question involving doctrine was regarded with an intensity of feeling, which a cold and skeptical age is unable to understand. God’s least word was something for which men would spend their years in battle, would take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, would abandon their homes for exile, and would ascend the scaffold. They resisted unto blood on the division of a hair, if they believed the hair to belong to the head of Truth.   

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p 305

Luther Quote of the Day

But what can and should God do? Man will not listen and observe. Teaching, praying, exhorting, pleading, begging, meekness, patience, threats, miracles, portents—all are futile. We are deliberately forcing God to be wrathful and will not let Him be gracious as He would want. I could surely not hold it against our dear Father if for once He were really to discipline us. It simply cannot be otherwise. Our sin and ingratitude is too ripe and beyond all bounds, as was the sin of the Jews when they would not accept Christ and the apostles with love and gratitude.

And yet, together with all dear friends of Christ, I would like to do everything I can to turn aside or at least to postpone and delay God’s wrath. That is why I have labored diligently in teaching and in exhorting people to be grateful. That is also why I bring this psalm to the attention of Christians, that they may not merely become willing and inclined to gratitude but may also have definite, fixed, and fitting words and ways to praise and thank God. Thus there will be no fault or lack of diligence of mine or on our part, and they will not be able to complain that they did not know the right words and ways. I can boast with a good conscience that I have done my part. Beyond this, may God’s will be done. As St. Peter says (2 Peter 2:9), He knows how to rescue the godly from trial while He punishes the ungodly, just as He rescued Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. Please God, it shall not be my fault or that of my fellow believers if things go wrong.

Psalm • 111

Translated by
Daniel E. Poellot

Luther’s works, vol. 13:
Selected Psalms II
p 353-354

Note: This was from a letter written to Kaspar von Köckritz in 1530. Does anyone reading this blog know anything about him?