#44 Where God Has Not Promised, We Receive Nothing

On the other hand, what good would it do you even if you went to St. James, clad in armor, or let yourself be killed by the severe life of the Carthusians, Franciscans, or Dominicans in order to be saved, and God had neither commanded nor instituted it? He still knows nothing about all this, but you and the devil invented them, as special sacraments or classes of priests. And even if you were able to bear heaven and earth in order to be saved, it would still all be lost; and he who would pick up the straw (if this were commanded) would do more than you, even if you could carry ten worlds. Why is that? It is God’s will that we obey his word, use his sacraments, and honor his church. Then he will act graciously and gently enough, even more graciously and gently than we could desire; for it is written, “I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods before me” [Exod. 20:23]. And, “Listen to him and to no other” [Matt. 17:5]. May that suffice on the church. More cannot be said unless each point is elaborated further. The rest must deal with different ideas, about which we want to speak too.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.172-173)

Picture:  St. Mark: “Initium Evangelii Jesu Christi,” the Latin of Mk 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ…”

Posted in 2020 Church.

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