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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Luther Quote of the Day

"Note well that the real freedom is freedom from sin….How does it come about? When we hear His Word—for instance, that Christ was born of Mary, suffered, was crucified, died, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, etc. “Oh,” it is said, “I know all this very well! It is an old story….But learn this lesson of the children, for these words tell us how we are redeemed and set free. “Yes,” they say, “these sayings and words are so common that they do not do the work.” The children are to be highly commended for praying these words and also for understanding them sooner; for the more learned and the smarter we old fools claim to be, the less we know and understand about this subject. To become free implies that you fix your thoughts on something else than that which lies in you… Note well that you will really be pious and free from sin if you believe that Christ makes you free by dying for you, shedding His blood, rising from the dead, and sitting at the right hand of God….

This is a message which must be preached again and again to fill and satisfy people with this doctrine. My hunger, however, has not yet been appeased. This doctrine is like bread, of which the body does not weary. We can be gorged with other food, but not with bread, unless a person is sick and unable to eat. A healthy person does not tire of bread. Likewise, to the end of his days a Christian never finishes with the study of the Creed. Neither will you or any saint, whether it be Mary or John the Baptist.

Therefore it is fitting that we sit down beside the stove with the children and learn this lesson. Of course, some among us have learned from one sermon all there is to know! But when they are confronted with trials, these people are in sore need of having someone recite these words to them and of having a four-year-old child recite the Creed to them."

Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 23 : Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 6-8. Saint Louis : Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1959 (Luther's Works 23), S. 23:409

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