Martin Luther on Faith

2/3/1995

In conjunction with what’s been read recently about faith, here’s a man that actually has changed the world, Martin Luther. Although there certainly were necessary periods of growth yet to come, what he did do impacted Christendom for all time. This man really knew operatively and functionally what faith is. I think these words will help to expand, clarify and refine some of what’s been read concerning faith from the standpoint of righteousness.

Remember, it’s the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man that avails much. It’s imperative that our heart and our focus stay inseparable in regard to clarity and purity. Faith is NOT going to be just a gushy addition to a wish list of self-serving Christianity. There has to be something very clear and righteous and focused about it, and that certainly is expressed pretty clearly by Luther in this following quotation:

“I am the Lord thy God. Thou shall have as thy God none but me” (Exo. 20:2).

“What is the meaning of this word and how is it to be understood? What does it mean to have a God, and what is God?

Answer: God is the One unto whom we should look for every good, and with Him we should seek refuge in all distress. Thus to have a God means nothing other, nothing less than to trust Him and believe in Him with a whole heart.”

(If we don’t trust Him in situations of distress, pain, woe, agony, rejection, fear and calamity, then whether or not we have a God is seriously questioned. It’s not just a matter of having faith, because God and faith are inseparable).

“For this I have often said it’s the heart’s trust in faith alone that makes both God and idol. If your trust and faith are right, your God is right. And again, if your faith is wrong and false, the true God is not present. For these two, faith and God are inseparable, and wherein you put your heart and trust, that is properly your God. Therefore, this is the meaning of the commandment, that it demands of us true faith and trust of heart, which are directed to the one true God, and which cleave to Him alone. It means, “See that I alone AM your God, and seek no other. Whatever good you may lack, look to Me and seek it from Me. If you are weighed down by distress and woe, keep to Me and hold fast to Me. I the Lord will give unto you abundantly and help you out of every distress if you will set your heart on no other.” (Martin Luther)

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