Donor Login spacer divider Translate

Missions 101

Happy Reformation Day

Oct. 31, 2012By: Evan Burns

Martin Luther was a master communicator and a prophetic voice that took no prisoners in his theological assertions.  The following excerpts from his commentary on Galatians exemplify his zeal for the doctrine of Christian righteousness: 

  • There is a clear and present danger that the devil may take away from us the pure doctrine of faith and may substitute for it the doctrines of works and of human traditions.  It is very necessary, therefore, that this doctrine of faith be continually read and heard in public….  This doctrine can never be discussed and taught enough.  If it is lost and perishes, the whole knowledge of truth, life, and salvation is lost and perishes at the same time.  But if it flourishes, everything good flourishes.[1]
  • If the doctrine of justification is lost, the whole of Christian doctrine is lost….  For between these two kinds of righteousness, the active righteousness of the Law and the passive righteousness of Christ, there is no middle ground.  Therefore he who has strayed away from this Christian righteousness will necessarily relapse into the active righteousness; that is, when he has lost Christ, he must fall into a trust in his own works.[2]
  • Therefore we always repeat, urge, and inculcate this doctrine of faith or Christian righteousness, so that it may be observed by continuous use and may be precisely distinguished from the active righteousness of the Law.  (For by this doctrine alone and through it alone is the church built, and in this it consists).[3]
  • The second kind of righteousness is our proper righteousness, not because we alone work it, but because we work with that first and alien righteousness.  This is that matter of life spent profitably in good works, in the first place, in slaying the flesh and crucifying the desires with respect to the self.[4]

For Luther, eternal joy and eternal punishment were at stake in this doctrine.  To him, the minister of the Word ought to be fervent and constant in teaching this doctrine.  One cannot be casual and lackadaisical in proclaiming Christian righteousness.  As Luther said, there is no middle ground.  This doctrine is absolutely essential for salvation. 


[1] Timothy Lull.  Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, 2nd ed.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005 (18).

[2] Lull (22).

[3] Lull (22).

[4] Lull (136).

Tags:  theology
comments powered by Disqus
SubscribeRSS FeedEmail Subscribe
Contributors
Tags
abortion, acts, africa, america, answer to prayer, arcc, asia, atheism, audio, bible, bible study, biblical theology, biography, black church, book review, books, brazil, c.s. lewis, caliphate, calvin, calvinism, cameroon, charity, china, christian, church, church growth, church history, church planting, church polity, confession, conflict, contextualization, corruption, creation, cross, culture, da carson, dead church, death, delight, demonic, dependence, discipleship, doctor, documentary, easter, ebola, ecclesiology, economics, effectiveness, ego, elder, endorsements, ethics, europe, evangelical, evangelicalism, evangelism, evil, faith, faithfulness, false teaching, forgiveness, free books, funny, gaba bible institute, gay marriage, gifts, global, global christianity, global south, good friday, gospel, graduation, great commission, greece, greek, healing, hermeneutics, history, history of missions, honor, hot topics, humility, humilty, humor, hymn, immigration, incarnational ministry, india, indigenous, infographic, informal education, integrity, interpretation, invitation, isis, islam, jesus, jews, john piper, journal, joy, kenya, latin america, leadership, literacy, love, majority world, map, maps, marriage, martyr, medicine, ministry, ministry of tli, miracles, misisonaries, missiology, mission, missional living, missionaries, missionary, missionary care, missionary kid, missionary training, missions, mission sermons, missions methodology, moms, money, nepal, news, new year, nigeria, orality, parenting, partnership, pastor, pastors, pastor sponsorship, patience, paul, persecution, pictures, pioneer, pioneer missions, politics, poor, pope, post-christian, poverty, practical, prayer, prayer requests, preaching, pride, productivity, prophecy, prosperity gospel, quote, radical, reached, reconciliation, relevance, relief, resources, retirement, revival, romania, sacrifice, salvation, scripture meditation, sending, sermon, serving, shame, shepherd, short-term missions, singing, social action, spiritual life, sports, spurgeon, stat, statistics, stats, stewardship, stm, story, strategic, strategy, suffering, support, support raising, teaching, team, tennent, testimonies, testimony, tgc, thanksgiving, theological education, theological famine, theology, the west, tli, training, transformation, translation, uganda, unreached, update, video, west, western influence, when helping hurts, wisdom, women, worldview, worship, young churches
blog search