03 September 2011

Justification and Human Brittleness

Luther, lecturing on Galatians 1 in 1531--
If I had not been taught by these examples of the church in Galatia, and others, I would never have believed that people who had started by accepting God’s Word with such joy could be overthrown so quickly.

The matter of justification is brittle—not in itself, for it is most sure and certain, but in respect to us, within us. I myself have experienced this, for I sometimes wrestle in hours of darkness. I know how often I suddenly lose the beams of the Gospel and grace. It is as though thick dark clouds obscured them from me. So I know about the slippery place in which we stand, even if we are experienced and seem to be surefooted in matters of faith. . . .

So, let every faithful person work hard to learn and retain this doctrine: and to that end, let us pray humbly and heartily, and study and meditate continually on the Word.
--Martin Luther, Galatians (Crossway, 1998), 57-58

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