Thursday, June 04, 2009

Martin Luther on the Use of the Law

"It is exceeding necessary for us to know this use of the Law. For he that is not an open and a public murderer, an adulterer, or a thief, holds himself to be an upright and godly man; as did the Pharisee, so blinded and possessed spiritually of the devil, that he could neither see nor feel his sins, nor his miserable case, but exalted himself touching his good works and deserts. Such hypocrites and haughty saints can God by no better means humble and soften, than by and through the Law; for that is the right club or hammer, the thunderclap from Heaven, the axe of God's wrath, that strikes through, beats down, and batters such stock-blind, hardened hypocrites. For this cause, it is no small matter that we should rightly understand what the Law is, whereto it serves, and what is its proper work and office. We do not reject the Law and the works thereof, but on the contrary, confirm them, and teach that we ought to do good works, and that the Law is very good and profitable, if we merely give it its right, and keep it to its own proper work and office."

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