Luther on Grace and Peace

Martin Luther was born Nov. 10, 1483.  He was baptized the next day on Martin of Tours day.  The following are selected comments from his lecture on Galatians 1:3, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Grace and peace,…embrace the whole of Christianity.  Grace forgives sin and peace stills the conscience….Peace is impossible unless sin has first been forgiven, for the Law accuses and terrifies the conscience on account of sin.  The more we work and sweat to extricate ourselves from sin, the worse off we are.  Your bones and mine will know no rest until we hear the Word of grace and cling to it firmly and faithfully.

The world brags about free will, about our powers, our works.  The world’s peace grants nothing except the peace of our property and of our bodies, so that we can live happily and peacefully in the flesh.  But the grace and peace of the world cannot help us or deliver us from trouble, despair and death. When the grace and peace of God are present, a man is so strong that he can bear both the cross and peace, both joy and sorrow.

True Christian theology, does not present God to us in His majesty.  Begin where Christ began – in the Virgin’s womb, in the manger, and at His mother’s breasts.  For this purpose He came down, was born, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and died.  He wanted us to fix the gaze of our hearts upon Himself and thus to prevent us from clambering into heaven and speculating about the Divine Majesty.”

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