"A prisoner is sitting in a deep, dense, and dark dungeon. He can see no light, nor does he know in which direction East or West lies. But the situation would be different if a hole were broken through the wall in order to admit the light…. Just so our soul is sitting in the human body as in a dark prison and knows [of itself] nothing of God. But it does want to speculate a great deal about Him and go in search of Him. However, human reason is of no avail here; it must stay with the light of the Divine Word that this light may shine into the heart." - Martin Luther
This quote from a sermon in 1540 shows why there are times I just don't like being a Lutheran. Oh, the quote is completely true, and accurate, and right, and profound. It's just that I as an arrogant, sinful human being who thinks too highly of himself rebels against this (at least according to my flesh). And I would imagine that most of the frustration against Lutheranism centers it's opposition logically speaking upon this point.
What do you mean I *need* God's light... I ought to be able to do it myself.
There is nothing the sinful, human nature rebels against more than being told that it can't do something. Whether or not what we want is good for us, or even possible - say no, and, well... anger and fear kicks in.
With these words Luther reminds us that we don't get to be the intellectual hero - for theology isn't an act of our mind. We don't get to be the great discoverer of new and profound truths - if anything we just see reality by God's light and revelation. I don't get to come up with my own solutions - I don't get to add happy commands that I think would prove my dedication to God or show my devotion to Him, nor do I get to ignore my pet sins.
Everything relies upon revelation - everything relies upon the Word.
What does our sinful flesh hate more than having to rely upon the Word, rely upon Christ Jesus?
And as my flesh hates this, wants to rebel against it, wants me to be both the super nice let everything go yet super pious I do everything (that I want to do) perfectly well super popular hippester pastor selling ear tickling books to the great benefit of my bank account... because my sinful flesh rebels against it so firmly, I know all the more that this is true.
And by the grace of God, the New Man that He has created in me, at the same time utterly rejoices, for in these words, this focus upon the revelation of God, is my freedom from sin, my forgiveness, my hope of life, and the promise that one day this body of darkness will rise again fully in God's marvelous light.