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Luther for Advent 1 – Matthew 21:1-9

by pastorjuhl ~ November 23rd, 2009

Church Postils

If you believe in Christ and in His advent, it is the highest praise and thanks to God to be holy. if you recognize, love, and magnify His grace and work in you, and cast aside and condemn self and the works of self, then you are a Christian.

Faith is of the nature that it does not judge nor reason by what it sees and feels but by what it hears. It depends upon the Word alone and not on vision or sight…. He who believes in Christ must find riches in poverty, honor in dishonor, joy in sorrow, life in death, and hold fast to them in that faith which clings to the Word and expects such things.

There is no other beginning that that your king comes to you and begins to work in you. It is done in this way: the Gospel must be the first, this must be preached and heard. In it you hear and learn how all your works count for nothing before God and that everything is sinful that you work and do. Your King must be first in you and rule you…. But when you hear and accept this it is not your power, but God’s grace, that renders the Gospel fruitful in you, so that you believe that you and your works are nothing.

Thy king cometh to thee pious or just, i.e., He comes to make you godly through Himself and His grace; He knows well that you are not godly. Your piety should consist not in your deeds, but in His grace and gift, so that you are just and godly through Him.

Therefore the church is a mouth-house, not a pen-house, for since Christ’s advent that Gospel is preached orally which before was hidden in written books. It is the way of the Gospel and of the New Testament that it is to be preached and discussed orally with a living voice. Christ Himself wrote nothing, nor did he give command to write, but to preach orally. Thus the apostles were not sent out until Christ came to His mouth-house, that is, until the time had come to preach orally and to bring the Gospel from dead writing and pen-work to the living voice and mouth. From this time the Church is rightly called Bethphage, since she has and hears the living voice of the Gospel.

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