#16-The Solace Which Comes From Hearing the Medicine of the Word

Psalm 51:8. To my hearing Thou wilt give joy and gladness, and the humbled bones will rejoice.

“All this can be summarized as follows. When you become sad or feel divine wrath, do not look for any other medicine or accept any other solace than the Word, whether it is spoken by a brother who is present or comes from the spirit remembering a word you had heard earlier—like the passages: ‘I do not want the death of the sinner, but that he turn from his way and live’ (Ezek. 33:11); ‘Life is in His will’ (Ps. 30:5); ‘God is God of the living’ (Matt. 22:32); ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16). These and similar passages bring the hearing of gladness, whether they come from the mouth of another or from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This, too, is hidden truth and wisdom, which inexperienced men cannot grasp. Therefore the pope’s teachers bring vastly different ways by which they want to heal troubled minds.

In addition, this verse is an outstanding testimony to the adornment of the ministry of the Word or the spoken Word. Because he asks for the hearing of gladness, he clearly shows that the Word is necessary for consoling minds, whether it is brought by a brother or whether the Spirit suggests a word that once was heard. This verse battles, first, against those who hate or neglect the external Word and are captivated by their own vain and inane speculations. Secondly, it also battles against those who do not want to accept the Word in their anguish of mind, but either are unbelievers or flee from the Word to their works, as the others do to their speculations. Both are in error—the man of thought as well as the man of action. Only if you hear will you avoid error” (Luther’s Works, vol. 12, p.368-369).

Posted in 2017 Reformation Quotes.

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