You Gotta Love Martin Luther
I came across an excerpt from Martin’s Luther’s exposition on John 15. Though Luther can be quite verbose, there are nearly 60 volumes of his works and words, he has a way of speaking the gospel in such succinct and sharp terms that I am left amazed.
I’m putting together a sermon on Jeremiah 18 in which God speaks of himself as the potter and his people as the clay. I’m not sure I can work Luther’s words on John 15 into the sermon, so I will share them with you now.
God is such a Craftsman that He has the skill to make those things that would harm and hinder us help and further us…. For he is the God who calls that which is not that it be, who changes all things and makes all things new. Certainly when we Christians are trodden under foot, or when their heads are hacked off, it does not look like honor or glory joy and blessedness, and it feels like the exact opposite.
But God says, “I can call into being, what is not, and from a sad and sorrowful heart I can call for pure joy, I can say ‘death and tomb you be light; hell, be heaven and blessedness; poison, be balm and medicine; devil and world, provide better service to my dear Christians than the angels and holy saints.’ For I can and will build and tend my vineyard in such a way that through all kinds of suffering calamity it shall become better.”
John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.