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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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Martin Luther: Do Not Mix Law With Grace

Martin Luther comments on Galatians 2:18,

By the grace of Christ we believe in justification, and we are sure that we are justified and accounted righteous before God purely by faith in Christ. Therefore, we do not mix the law and grace, faith and works, but keep them completely separate. Every Christian should carefully maintain this difference between the law and grace, not in letters and syllables, but in practice and inner experience, so that when people say good works should be done, and the example of Christ is to be followed, we may be able to judge rightly and say, “All these things I will do gladly. But what follows from this? Will you be saved and obtain everlasting life? Not so. I agree that I ought to do good works, to suffer trouble and affliction patiently, and to shed my blood, if necessary, for Christ’s cause. But I am not justified by this, nor do I obtain salvation by it.”
 
We must not let good works come into the matter of justification, as do those people who say that doers of good works, even by those being punished for their sins, deserve everlasting life. These people comfort those who are brought to the place of execution, telling them they must suffer this shameful death willingly and patiently, and that if they do so, they will merit forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. What a horrible claim this is, that thieves, murderers, robbers should be so wretchedly seduced in extreme anguish and distress, that at the very point of death they should refuse the Gospel and sweet promises in Christ, which are the only thing that can bring comfort and salvation, and should be commanded to hope for pardon of their sins if they willingly and patiently endure this death for their mischievous deeds! This simply heaps destruction and perdition on people who are already most wretchedly afflicted; by giving false confidence in their own death, it leads them onto an open road to hell.
 
Thus such hypocrites clearly show they understand not a thing about grace, the Gospel, or Christ. Rejecting Christ, they attribute more to human traditions than to the Gospel. But Paul says we are justified only by faith in Christ, without the law. After we are justified and possess Christ by faith and know we have his righteousness and life, there is no doubt that we will not be idle but will produce good fruit just as a good tree does. Believers have the Holy Spirit, and where the Holy Spirit lives, he will not allow people to be idle but stirs them up to piety and godliness and true religion, to the love of God, to the patient suffering of affliction, to prayer, to thanksgiving, to the exercise of love toward everyone.


Luther, M. (1998). Galatians. The Crossway classic commentaries (97). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

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