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Daily Luther: You Must Wear This Armor!

July 24th, 2012
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If I am not properly clad in my armor, such thoughts come to me, and I stand in danger of losing Christ and the Gospel. If I am to stand my ground, I must constantly adhere to Scripture. How, then, will a person fare who is without Scripture and proceeds equipped with nothing but reason? For what might I believe regarding this article, which teaches that another life follows the present one, if I were to listen to reason when it comes gushing along with its notions and says: “What becomes of him whom the ravens devour or of him who remains in the water and is eaten by the fish and is completely consumed? Where do the people remain who are burned to ashes, who crumble into dust, who are scattered over the whole earth and vanish? Yes, what becomes of every person who is buried in the ground and is consumed by worms?” I may entertain similar thoughts with regard to all the other articles of faith if I follow my reason, also those which seem very insignificant. I might, for instance, ask concerning the Virgin Mary how it was possible for her to become pregnant without a man, etc. But this is the rule: These articles of faith which we preach are not based on human reason and understanding, but on Scripture; it follows that they must not be sought anywhere but in Scripture or explained otherwise than with Scripture.

Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, 1 Co 15:3–7 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).

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  1. Jonathan Trost
    July 24th, 2012 at 10:17 | #1

    Hence, the difference between revealed theology and natural theology, because mere, unaided human reason and experience certainly will argue against the Virgin Birth, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

    So, St. Paul says at 1 Cor 3:18-19:

    “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

    ” For the wisdpm of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”

    I agree with him who said: “Authentic wisdom is humble in its apprehension of the mysteries of God. It does not boast in men’s ideas. For, the ways of the Holy Spirit are often at odds with the intuitions of human reason.”

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