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Luther Quotes for The Baptism of Our Lord – Matthew 3:13-17

by pastorjuhl ~ January 7th, 2013

All of this is done so that we cannot miss this event. It is no trivial matter. Everything depends on it. This is made so sure through holy people, through God Himself and His Spirit, so that all creatures must confess He is Christ. Thus we can depend upon Christ as such and cling to no other for help, even though the Jews have rejected this and do not wish to cling to Him. So also even now among us the Word of God and the gospel are heeded little. Be that as it may, this is spoken at His entrance to His office.

What is this, “to fulfill all righteousness?” What does “all righteousness” mean? It is fulfilling all righteousness when we consider ourselves unrighteous before God and heartily acknowledge that no one can stand before His judgment but rather must all bow before Him no matter how holy we might be…. So it is called fulfilling all righteousness to be holy but not to look to one’s self for holiness, that is, to acknowledge that you are a sinner lacking holiness.

When I know and am certain that is man, Christ, is God’s Son and pleases His Father, then since the divine majesty Himself declared this from heaven and He cannot lie, so must I also be certain that everything that this man says and does is purely the Word and work of the beloved Son. Of all things, what He says and does is most pleasing to God.

So I mark this well and cling to it. Then, whenever I hear Christ speak or act after this, or see Him do something, it has to be His working for my good. He does everything and suffers all things for my sake. He came to serve, not that He be served. So I remember this Word from the Father. He is the beloved Son. By that I must realize that such speaking, acting and suffering of Christ [Luke 22], done for me as He said, must heartily please the Father.

Now how could God give out anything more abundant, dear or sweet, than what He says? It well pleases Him from the heart that His Son Christ speaks to me so kindly; that He thinks so tenderly of me and suffers for me with such great love; that He dies and does everything. Don’t you think that if a human heart should rightly experience this pleasure of God in Christ, if He would grant that to us, that that heart would have to jump up and down a thousand times for joy? For there it would look into the very depths of the Father’s heart, yes, the bottomless and eternal goodness and love of God, which He has borne to us and He has borne eternally.

From a sermon in “Festival Sermons of Martin Luther”, translated by Pr. Joel Baseley

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