Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Minutes Daily with Luther - January 28

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

"As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed" Galatians 1:9.

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In this verse Paul repeats the same thing again, only changing the persons. Before he cursed himself, his brethren, and an angel from heaven. Here he says, If there are any besides us who preach to you any other Gospel than that which you have received from us, let them also be accursed. This shows exceedingly great fervency of spirit in the Apostle, that he dares to curse all teachers throughout the whole world and in heaven who alter his Gospel and teach any other; all men must either believe that Gospel that Paul preached, or else they must be accursed and condemned. The changing of persons is here to be marked. Paul speaks otherwise in the first cursing than he does in the second. In the first he says, “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you”; in the second, “a gospel contrary to that which you received.” And this he does, lest the Galatians should say, We did not alter the Gospel that you preached unto us; we simply did not understand you rightly, but the teachers who came after you have declared to us the true meaning. This, Paul says, I will in no case admit. They ought to add nothing to it, nor correct it, for that which you heard of me is the sincere Word of God; this alone must remain. Neither do I desire myself to be another sort of teacher than I was, nor you other disciples. For this reason, if you hear any man bringing any other Gospel than the one you have heard from me, or bragging that he will deliver better things than you have received from me, let him and his disciples be both accursed. Paul here subjects himself and an angel from heaven, all doctors upon earth, and all other teachers and masters whatsoever, under the authority of the Scripture. No doctrine ought to be taught or heard in the Church other than the pure Word of God.
Within Thy temple when they stand,
To teach the truth as taught by Thee,
Savior, like stars in Thy right hand,
Let all Thy Church’s pastors be.

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