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Martin Luther

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Starts discussion of Third Commandment (keep the Sabbath holy)
      I. We have now seen how many good works there are in the Second Commandment, which however are not good in themselves, unless they are done in faith and in the assurance of divine favor; and how much we must do, if we take heed to this Commandment alone, and how we, alas! busy ourselves much with other w

Starts discussion on the love of God with the whole heart ...
       THE TREATISE I. We ought first to know that there are no good works except those which God has commanded, even as there is no sin except that which God has forbidden. Therefore whoever wishes to know and to do good works needs nothing else than to know God's commandments. Thus Christ

That he might deliver us from this present evil world.
      Paul calls this present world evil because everything in it is subject to the malice of the devil, who reigns over the whole world as his domain and fills the air with ignorance, contempt, hatred, and disobedience of God. In this devils's kingdom we live. As long as a person is in the world he cannot by his own efforts rid himself of sin, becaus

That ye are so soon.
      Paul deplores the fact that it is difficult for the mind to retain a sound and steadfast faith. A man labors for a decade before he succeeds in training his little church into orderly religion, and then some ignorant and vicious poltroon comes along to overthrow in a minute the patient labor of years. By the grace of God we have effected here in Wi

The Certainty of Our Calling
      Every minister should make much of his calling and impress upon others the fact that he has been delegated by God to preach the Gospel. As the ambassador of a government is honored for his office and not for his private person, so the minister of Christ should exalt his office in order to gain authority among men. This is not vain glory, but needfu

The German Mass and Order of Divine Service
       (i) The Preface of Martin Luther. Above all things, I most affectionately and for God's sake beseech all, who see or desire to observe this our Order of Divine Service, on no account to make of it a compulsory law, or to ensnare or make captive thereby any man's conscience; but to use it agreeably to Christian liberty at their good pl

The Twofold Use of the Law & Gospel: "Letter" & "Spirit"
      The Twofold Use of the Law & Gospel: "Letter" & "Spirit" Second Corinthians 3:4-11. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to Godward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, b

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
      Hebrew writing is interspersed with expressions of praise and gratitude. This peculiarity can be traced in the apostolic writings, particularly in those of Paul. The name of the Lord is to be mentioned with great reverence and thanksgiving.

Unto another gospel.
      Note the resourcefulness of the devil. Heretics do not advertise their errors. Murderers, adulterers, thieves disguise themselves. So the devil masquerades all his devices and activities. He puts on white to make himself look like an angel of light. He is astoundingly clever to sell his patent poison for the Gospel of Christ. Knowing Satan's guile,

Unto the churches of Galatia.
      Paul had preached the Gospel throughout Galatia, founding many churches which after his departure were invaded by the false apostles. The Anabaptists in our time imitate the false apostles. They do not go where the enemies of the Gospel predominate. They go where the Christians are. Why do they not invade the Catholic provinces and preach their doc

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you.
      Here again the apostle excuses the Galatians, while he blames the false apostles for disturbing their consciences and for stealing them out of his hand. How angry he gets at these deceivers! He calls them troublemakers, seducers of poor consciences. This passage adduces further evidence that the false apostles defamed Paul as an imperfect apostl

Who gave himself for our sins.
      Paul sticks to his theme. He never loses sight of the purpose of his epistle. He does not say, 'Who received our works,' but 'who gave.' Gave what? Not gold, or silver, or paschal lambs, or an angel, but Himself. What for? Not for a crown, or a kingdom, or our goodness, but for our sins. These words are like so many thunderclaps of protest from hea

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