Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

The Way of Salvation

"Behold, in this manner all the world goes on in its blindness and darkness and does not find the Way, no matter what and how much it undertakes and does to pave individual and private ways and to construct separate bridges to reach to heaven. And precisely because they look for so many different ways and try one after another, they indicate sufficiently that they do not know the real Way. And after they have tried all, they still can never be certain of their case. No matter how long they labor and search for ways, they always remain in doubt. Who knows (they ask) whether God will be pleased by this, or whether I have done enough? They never can come to the point of building on their efforts as on a secure foundation." (Martin Luther)



"If you ask why not all men are saved in Christ, since all are damned through Adam, I reply by urging that God is not angry, as your argument affirms, but loves all men very much. For them He gave into death His Son, of who He said: 'Hear ye Him" (Matt. 17:5). That God laid greater stress on love than on hate we see in the death of His Son. Satan deceived Adam and Eve, but God sent His Son into the world. So you must answer those who ask why God permitted our first parent to fall.
"We should not look at the sins we have committed but at the goodness of God which moved Him to send His Son into the world. Nor should we look at the great multitude of those who are damned. And if God says to all: Sic volo, sic iubeo (So I want it, so I command), what it is that to you? But the devil comes with his 'why' and wants to pry into all the hidden things of God, something no man would endure from another man. And should God put up with it? He intends to be sole Lord.
"It is not for me to judge Turks and Tartars and the godless. But I believe the general statement of Scripture, which says: 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved' (Mark 16:16). This Scripture passage certainly damns them. But if our Lord God wants to make some other arrangement, I am not concerned about that. I do not judge Him. We should believe the order which God has established. God may make an exception if He so desires.
"But although God conducts Himself in a strange way, we are nevertheless to believe that He is a pious Man; for through His goodness He imparts far more blessings to men than men can imagine. And what He does, He does not do without a reason; and if He were held to answer everybody's question., He would be the poorest kind of God.
"We must look at the Word of God and avoid the 'why' in it. We must know His Word, not investigate His will, which is often hidden. To search it out is to weigh wind and fire on a scale. Such is the labor with which the investigators of His majesty are toiling." (Martin Luther)

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