Monday, March 7, 2011

Five Minutes Daily with Luther - March 7

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

Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. Galatians 3:7.

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This is the general argument and whole disputation of Paul against the Jews, that those who believe are the children of Abraham, and not merely those who are born of his flesh and his blood (Rom. 9:7-8). This disputation Paul emphasizes, for the greatest confidence and glory of the Jews was: “We are the seed and children of Abraham. He was circumcised and kept the Law, therefore, if we are to be the true children of Abraham, we must follow our father,” etc. It was no doubt an excellent glory and dignity to be of the seed of Abraham, for no man could deny that God spoke to the seed and of the seed of Abraham. But this prerogative did not profit the unbelieving Jews. For this reason Paul labors against this argument, and wrests from the Jews this strong faith in themselves. So Paul reasons as follows against the Jews: You say, “We are the seed of Abraham. Abraham was circumcised and kept the Law; we do the same.” All of this I grant, but will you expect to be justified and saved on that account? Not so. But let us come to the Patriarch Abraham himself, and let us see by what means he was justified and saved. There is no doubt that it was not for his excellent virtues and holy works, nor because he was circumcised and kept the Law, but because he believed. Wherefore he was not justified by any other means than by faith alone. Since this is true according to the testimony of Scripture, why do you stand so upon circumcision and the Law, contending that you have righteousness and salvation thereby, when Abraham himself, your father, your fountain and headspring, in whom you glory so much, was justified and saved without these, by faith alone?
Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him, who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all!


Joe Krohn said...

I think this jettisons any notion that Luther believed that there was any other kind of justification other than through faith alone.

Joe Krohn

Daniel Baker said...

Joe, do you mean to tell me that there won't be guilt-free saints in hell!?

Anonymous said...

All right, you two!

Scott E. Jungen

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