07 December 2011

Luther on John 1:16 ('we have all received grace upon grace')

Martin Luther's theological thunderclaps are wonderfully refreshing in today's fuzzy, politically correct, intolerantly tolerant, inoffensive-at-all-costs theological atmosphere.
It is a terrible and detestable blindness and a demonic presumption when a person has the audacity, as all work-righteous and hypocrites do, to attempt atonement for sin through works and tries in this way to earn the grace of God. It is wretched arrogance. . . . This is like a poor beggar--lice-ridden, syphilitic, leprous, filthy, stinking, and crawling with maggots and worms over his whole body, but nonetheless proud and arrogant--who vauntingly says: 'Just look at me, a handsome fellow!'

. . . Therefore we have no right to indulge in much bragging and boasting when we step before God. Even if we were members of the highest aristocracy on earth and were prone to take pride in this, before God we would still be nothing but bags of worms or bags of manure, infested with lice, maggots, stinking and foul. . . .
The healing alternative:
But if we do want to boast, then let us boast that we receive from the fullness of Christ, that we are enlightened by Him, attain forgiveness of sin, and become children of God through Him. . . . This fountain is inexhaustible; it is full of grace and truth before God; it never fails no matter how much we draw from it. Even if we all dip from it without stopping, it cannot be emptied, but it remains a perennial fount of all grace and truth, an unfathomable well, an eternal fountain.

The more we drink from it, the more it gives.
--Luther's Works, 22:132-34


Anonymous said...

Please pardon my intrusion. I'm afraid that I don't have a blog or website but wished for you to know that because of this site alone 'Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology' and your faithfulness to post God's word, I have been rescued from my sins by Jesus Christ! Christ alone through His grace brought the realization of my depravity and need for a Savior! I trusted and gave my life to Him several months ago after reading your blog anonymously for many months. God indeed uses the most non-conventional means to bring about results doesn't He? Thank you again for obeying Him. May you and your family have a very merry Christmas.

Dane Ortlund said...

Praise the Lord, Dean. Thanks for letting me know.