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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, February 17, 2012

Martin Luther Comments on Galatians 1:7

"Note carefully that every teacher of works and of the righteousness of the law is a troubler of the church and of people’s consciences. The more holy the heretics seem to be outwardly, the more mischief they do. If the false apostles had not been endued with notable gifts, great authority, and a show of holiness and had not boasted they were Christ’s ministers, the apostles’ disciples, and sincere preachers of the Gospel, they could not so easily have defaced Paul’s authority and led the Galatians astray."  Martin Luther


Galatians 1:7

7. Which is really no gospel at all.



Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion. Here again he excuses the Galatians and most bitterly reproves the false apostles. This is like saying, “You Galatians are assured that the Gospel you received from me is not the true and sincere Gospel, and therefore you think you are doing the right thing by accepting that new gospel that the false apostles teach and that seems to be better than mine. I do not so much accuse you of this fault as those disturbers who trouble your consciences and pull you out of my hand.” Here you see once more how vehement the apostle is against those deceivers, and with what harsh words he describes them, calling them troublers of the churches who do nothing but seduce and deceive innumerable poor consciences, occasioning horrible mischief and calamities in the congregations. We also see this great enormity today, to the great grief of our hearts; yet we are no more able to remedy it than Paul was at that time.

This passage proves that those false apostles had reported Paul to be an imperfect apostle and also a weak and erroneous preacher. Therefore, he again calls them here troublers of the church and overthrowers of the Gospel of Christ. Thus the false apostles condemned Paul, and Paul condemned them. Such fighting and condemnation is always in the church, especially when the doctrine of the Gospel flourishes; wicked teachers prosecute, condemn, and oppress godly people, and conversely, godly people reprove and condemn the ungodly.

Note carefully that every teacher of works and of the righteousness of the law is a troubler of the church and of people’s consciences. The more holy the heretics seem to be outwardly, the more mischief they do. If the false apostles had not been endued with notable gifts, great authority, and a show of holiness and had not boasted they were Christ’s ministers, the apostles’ disciples, and sincere preachers of the Gospel, they could not so easily have defaced Paul’s authority and led the Galatians astray.

Now the reason the apostle sets himself so sharply against them is that in addition to faith in Christ they taught that circumcision—that is, the keeping of the law—was necessary to receive salvation. Paul himself testifies to this in chapter 5; and Luke, in Acts 15:1, says the same thing. So the false apostles earnestly and obstinately argued that the law ought to be observed. Stubborn Jews immediately joined them and so afterwards easily persuaded people who were not established in the faith that Paul was not a sincere teacher, because he disregarded the law and preached a doctrine that abolished and overthrew it. It seemed to them very strange that the law of God should be completely taken away and that the Jews, who had always until that time been regarded as God’s people and to whom the promises had been given, should now be rejected. Indeed, it seemed even stranger to them that the Gentiles, wicked idolaters, should attain the glory and dignity of being the people of God without being circumcised and without the works of the law—that is, by grace and faith in Christ alone.


Luther, M. (1998). Galatians. The Crossway classic commentaries (50–51). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

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