Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Minutes Daily with Luther - December 31

(Reprinted with permission from Five Minutes Daily with Luther: Daily Lessons from the Writings of Martin Luther, by John Theodore Mueller.)

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” Ephesians 6:10.

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The life of a human creature is an on-going war on earth. A Christian must be a soldier, always striving and fighting with the enemy. St. Paul describes the weapons of a Christian (Ephesians 6). Firstly, the girdle of truth: that is, the confession of the pure doctrine of the Gospel, which is sincere, not a hypocritical or a feigned faith. Secondly, the breastplate of righteousness: the righteousness of faith, and of the remission of sins, the faith of which Moses speaks (Genesis 15): “And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Thirdly, the shoes with which the feet are shod: the works of our calling; namely, the fruits of faith. Fourthly, the shield of faith: Christ Himself and His atoning blood, whom we must hold before the fiery arrows of the enemy. Fifthly, the helmet of salvation: that is, the hope of everlasting life. Sixthly, the sword of the Spirit: that is, the Word of God and prayer, for just as the lion is frightened by nothing more than the crowing of a rooster, so the devil can be overcome and vanquished with nothing other than with the Word of God and prayer, and of this Christ Himself has given us an example.
From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day.

Still let the Spirit cry
In all His soldiers, “Come,”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high,
And takes the conquerors home.

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