#61- The Church Is Not Above God’s Word

“You, on the other hand, wickedly usurp this name and apply it to a coterie of knaves who do not ask at all what Christ said and commanded. They brashly determine and formulate whatever doctrines they themselves choose and then allege that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. Yes, they are so impudent as to elevate such a crowd of knaves above God’s Word and to say that the church is above the Gospel. Just as though there were a Christian Church without Christ and His Word! And since they occupy the highest place and decide questions without Christ’s Word—yes, contrary to it—the Holy Spirit must necessarily be with them, do and confirm all that they want from Him, call them to church, and command everybody to heed their voice as that of God Himself and to obey on pain of his soul’s salvation. You will have to wait a long time for this; He will not let it happen. For Christ describes the Holy Spirit as a Teacher who teaches and proclaims His Word.

On the other hand, if you hear people preaching about Christ and treating and expounding His Word, Baptism, His suffering, and His resurrection, then you can say: ‘Here I am listening to the true Christian Church. For here is the Holy Spirit, who teaches and brings to remembrance what Christ said, not human prattle about food, drink, and clothing. For how do such things concern the church?’” (Luther’s Works, v. 24, p. 174-175).

Posted in 2017 Reformation Quotes.

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