Monday, July 19, 2010

A Luther Gem

Consider the following Luther Gem that is making it's way around the internet:

"Get used to believing that Christ is a real Savior and that you are a real sinner. For God is neither joking nor is He dealing in imaginary affairs, but He was deadly serious when He sent His own Son into the world and sacrificed Him for our sake, etc. (Romans 8:32; John 3:16). Satan – who is alive and well – has snatched these and similar reflections, which come from soothing Bible passages, from you memory. Therefore, you are not able to recall them in your present great anguish and depression. For God’s sake, then, turn your ears my way, brother, and hear me cheerfully sing. I am your brother. At this time I am not afflicted with the desperation and depression that is oppressing you. Therefore, I am strong in my faith. The reason I am strong in the faith – while you are weak and harried and harassed by the devil – is that you may lean on me for support until you regain your old strength."

Note especially that end. . . therefore I am strong in my faith - and the reason. Not because I am awesome, not because I am great - but so that while you are weak and Satan is beating the tar out of you, you may lean against me and I may speak God's Word of life to you so that you regain strength.

And of course, the opposite is true - there will be times when I am weak, when I am beat down and weary - and that those times it may be that you are strong. Why are you strong? Because of your own awesomeness? No - but so that you might speak a word of comfort to me and bolster me to stand in the face of Satan.

Everything in our life, even the strength of our faith, our confidence, those moments of surety which we have - these are for our neighbor, these are so that we might love the neighbor.

I think this is what Romans 1:17 means - consider Romans 1:16-17 - "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17)For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

God's righteousness is revealed, is spoken by me in faith, for the sake of your faith. God's righteousness is revealed, is spoken by you in faith, for the sake of my faith. We constantly proclaim the Gospel to each other, bolstering each other, lifting each other up - and thus we live.

It's a wonderful, wonderful observation. My life is never about me - Just as Christ's life was never about Himself - it's always about you (whoever you happen to be).


Pastor D said...

This point will work werve well for the Epistle lesson for Sunday August 8. With your permission I would like to work it into the sermon. Blessings!

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

You never need my permission for anything I write here.