Home > Lutheranism > Great comfort, heavenly refreshment, living hope, and rock-solid certainty–the great treasure of the Reformation!

Great comfort, heavenly refreshment, living hope, and rock-solid certainty–the great treasure of the Reformation!

November 15th, 2006
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

“It would be a great error to maintain that Luther was pulled into the work of the Reformation because he yearned for freedom from the oppressive yoke of papal dominion and all that was connected with it. No, the true motive was this: Luther wanted to be certain of the grace of God and salvation but he did not know how to obtain them. After he had tormented himself for a long time by his own works, a strict monastic life, and constant prayer, fasting, vigils, and other mortifications, he found that he still had no peace. In deed, he was lead to the brink of despair by his failure. Then, by the reading of the Bible, which had come into his hands by God’s miraculous providence, it gradually became clear to him that a person, according to the Gospel, should be righteous before God and saved, not by his own works, but by the faith given him by God. His righteousness and salvation depended not on his worthiness, but only on grace; not on his own righteousness, but on an alien righteousness; not by his work and suffering, by the work and suffering of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of sinners. This discovery not only brightened Luther’s outlook toward God (he wrote that he was like a hopeless person for whom the gates of paradise were suddenly opened), but it also made him happier and bolder toward all people, so that he felt a compelling need to proclaim the saving Gospel to the whole world. After all, it had given him such great comfort, heavenly refreshment, living hope, and rock-solid certainty that he simply had to share this good news. He would not be deterred, even if, as a defenseless monk, he was opposed by pope and emperor and threatened with excommunication, fire, and sword. The right understanding of the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ was the true treasure of the Reformation brought to Christendom.”

Source:
C.F.W. Walther, God Grant It: Daily Devotions (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), p. 843-844.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Categories: Lutheranism
  1. Tim Kuehn
    November 16th, 2006 at 08:57 | #1

    I would change the wording a bit:
    “Then, through God’s word as recorded in the Bible, which had come into his hands by God’s miraculous providence, the Holy Spirit gradually made it clear to him that a person, according to the Gospel, should be righteous before God and saved, not by his own works, but by the faith given him by God.”
    Any understanding Luther had, or any of us have, is by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and not because of work or diligence on our part.
    McCain: I don’t disagree with you, but that it was through Luther’s reading and study of Holy Scripture that the Holy Spirit brought him the Gospel is all that Walther is saying. Pardon the pun, but..I think you might be “reading” too much into the comment. I agree with your point, but believe it is misapplied to this quote.

  2. Mike
    November 17th, 2006 at 16:17 | #2

    I purchased this devotional from CPH on the recommendation of a friend. My family is going to go through it this year starting in Advent. Based on this excerpt alone, I can hardly wait!
    In particular:
    “His righteousness and salvation depended not on his worthiness, but only on grace; not on his own righteousness, but on an alien righteousness; not by his work and suffering, by the work and suffering of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of sinners.”
    What a powerful truth!
    For so long, I toiled under the law believing it was my Christian duty to create the sanctification that Christ had won for me on the cross. Such folly! There were years where I begged God to lighten my burden and privately thought Him to be a cruel master indeed. The more I defiantly struggled to live a righteous life, the more the merciless commands of God whipped my soul with judgement.
    Only after the Holy Spirit broke me under the law (that I so desperately clung to), was the true comfort of the Gospel revealed to me at last.
    The complete death… the total surrender to Christ that Paul speaks of was only achieved in me after I had fought God with every ounce of energy and will that I had.
    Luther was right. This is that saving truth: The righteous shall live by faith.
    That pure concept has saved me from a life of suffering and uncertainty. It was not my will or my discovery. It was God’s revelation through Holy Writ as explained to me by true doctors of faith (and in this I mean doctors in the medical, healing sense). I was dragged kicking and screaming to it by God according to His wise timing.
    So completely new is this understanding of grace by faith that I often look back at my old way of “discipleship” and wonder if I was ever truely a believer at all in those days.
    Those who have grown up in the oasis of Lutheran doctrine often do not understand (or sometimes forget) what a blessing from God the teachings are. It is up to those of us who wandered much of our lives in the desert of synergism and error to voice Walther’s point daily.

Comments are closed.