Martin Luther on…


Here are a couple of quotes form Luther’s Tabletalk;

All heretics have continually failed in this one point: that they do not rightly understand or know the article of justification.  If we had not this article certain and clear, it would be impossible for us to criticize the pope’s false doctrine of indulgences and other abominable errors, much less be able to overcome greater spiritual errors and vexations.  If we only permit Christ to be our Saviour, then we have won, for He is the only girdle which clasps the whole body together, a Saint Paul excellently teaches.

 A popish priest once argued with me in this manner:  Evil works are damned, therefore good works justify.  I answered: Your argument is worth nothing.  It concludes not ratione contrariorum; the things are not in connection.  Evil works are evil in complete measure, because they proceed from a heart that is altogether spoiled and evil.  But good works, yea, even in an upright Christian, are incompletely good; for they proceed out of a weak obedience but little recovered and restored.  Whoso can say from his heart, “I am a sinner, but God is righteous;” and who, at the point of death, from his heart can say, “Lord Jesus Christ, I commit my spirit into your hands,” may assure himself of true righteousness, and that he is not of the number of those that blaspheme God, in relying upon their own works and righteousness.



Filed under justification, Luther

3 responses to “Martin Luther on…

  1. Good lines.

    In particular, we need to remind that Justification is COMPLETE upon the exercise of God-given faith.

    The neo-legalist “New Perspective” folks SAY they believe in biblical Justification, but then spin it to be a FUTURE Justification dependent on a proper walk with Jesus as Lord, thereby fulfilling THEIR side of a covenant.

    This is pure Legalism, disguised as grace by citing the SOURCE of the meritorious walk as God, and then saying it’s not meritorious. Like a “popish priest” calling their rituals “grace”, while still saying they “merit” heaven.

    You can wade through 5,000 pages of N.T. Wright, and attempt to wrap your brain around his prolific explanations of Second Temple Judaism, but it all boils down to that ancient error of “works” salvation, and a convoluting of the simplicity which is in Christ.

    Subtle, like all the “best” heresies.


  2. Good thoughts, Terry. I almost titled this post, “Martin Luther to the NPP”.

  3. You should do so Jeremy after all Phil Johnson over on the Pyro blog is doing that with Spurgeon, we should do the same with Luther. After all we should show that it was true all the way back to the beginning of the Reformation. But then again, the NPP boys would insist that Luther got it wrong from the get go. Maybe we need to dig up some of the patristic fathers?

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