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Gerhard Quotes for Holy Trinity – John 3:1-15

by pastorjuhl ~ June 2nd, 2009

These quotes are from Blessed Johann Gerhard’s Postilla, Volume 2.

[The heavenly testimony”] is, indeed, the only witness that is certain; for the others [nature and conscience] often drift into despondency and controversy. As far as created things and our hearts are concerned, the devil may prevail; but the witness of the Holy Spirit he cannot take from us, for he is helpless against it….The testimonies of nature and conscience are common to all men, but the testimony of the Word and the Holy Spirit resides solely within Christians (2:15).

This was the inexpressible will of God, to send His only Son into the world to redeem us. We were villians, but nonetheless He sent Christ His Son for the sake of such villians. We were enemies of God, yet He sent Christ, His most precious possession, for the sake of such enemies. We had gone astray and were unaware of our great affliction, and even less in search of help; but God came to our aid without our desiring it. We had fled from  Him, but He has called us back. This must, indeed be great love. His beloved Son came into the world, suffered death for our sins, gave His Father perfect obedience, was lifted onto the wooden cross like the brass serpent [Numbers 21], and thereby obtained the forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, righteousness, and eternal bliss. And thus the lost treasure has been restored (2:19).

It is therefore a wondrous thing about faith, for it takes in more than heaven and earth. The reason: Because it embraces Christ and, in Christ, eternal life. St. Bernard states accordingly: “There are three quite wondrous convergences: God and man in Christ, the virginity and pregnancy of Mary, and faith and the human heart.” The latter is rightly included here because by faith the human heart apprehends all of the others. Thus we are able to understand when the Lord declares; “All things are possible for him who believes” (Matthew 17:20). The reason? Because faith embraces God, for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) (2:20-21).

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