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Martin Luther on justification by faith

February 26, 2014 1 comment

This doctrine can never be discussed and taught enough. If it is lost and perishes, the whole knowledge of truth, life, and salvation is lost and perishes at the same time. But if it flourishes, everything good flourishes—religion, true worship, the glory of God, and the right knowledge of all things and of all social conditions. There is clear and present danger that the devil may take away from us the pure doctrine of faith and may substitute for it the doctrines of works and of human traditions. It is very necessary, therefore, that this doctrine of faith be continually read and heard in public.

Martin Luther, in the preface to his commentary on Galatians

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith (III)

III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;(a) may be often and many way assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory:(b) growing up in to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ,(c) who is both the author and finisher of our faith.(d)

(a) Hebrews 5:13, 14; Romans 4:19, 20; Matthew 6:30; Matthew 8:10
(b) Luke 22:31, 31; Ephesians 6:16; 1 John 5:4, 5
(c) Hebrews 6:11, 12; Hebrews 10:22; Colossians 2:2
(d) Hebrews 12:2

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith (II)

II. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein;(a) and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands,(b) trembling at the threatenings,(c) and embracing the promises of  God for this life, and that which is to come.(d) But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.(e)

(a) John 4:42; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:10; Acts 24:14
(b) Romans 16:26
(c) Isaiah 66:2
(d) Hebrews 11:13; 1 Timothy 4:8
(e) John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:20; Acts 15:11

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith (I)

I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,(a) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,(b) and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,(c) by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.(d)

(a) Hebrews 10:39
(b) 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:17-19, 2:8
(c) Romans 10:14, 17
(d) 1 Peter 2:2; Acts 20:32; Romans 4:11; Luke 17:5; Romans 1:16, 17

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