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More Luther for Trinity 4

by pastorjuhl ~ June 22nd, 2010

These from his Church Postils.

Observe here what a perversion it is for man to exercise himself in doing works to God, which should be done to his neighbor; and then centers his faith in men and saints, which he should center alone in God. Turn this around and then it is right, thus: faith must belong alone to God, whoever receives the divine works, God alone does them, and the same works of God we receive along through faith. Then we should apply ourselves to our neighbor and arrange all our affairs to the end that they serve our neighbor.

Before we can do acts of mercy, we must receive from God mercy. Before we seek Him, He finds us; before we ask for Him, He has us.

Is thy brother a sinner, then cover his sin and pray for him. Dost thou publish his sins, then truly thou art not a child of your merciful Father; for otherwise thou wouldst be also as He, merciful.

Christ does not here teach us to become pious and just through our works but admonishes those who were already pious and just, that they may be merciful like their Father in heaven, so that the heathen may thereby become better, and that thus unbelievers may be kindly enticed to become converted and edified, not only by preaching, but also by the merciful and blameless lives and good conduct of the good and just.

Thus our dear Lord would here kindly and lovingly invite us to do good works and lead a Christian life also among our enemies. But when we fail to do this He threatens us, that He would not regard us as Christians. For such works are as a sign or confession that we are true Christians. In addition to this, other people will be made better by such works, and so will we ourselves who do them, as St. Peter says, we make our calling election sure thereby, and become richer in faith.

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