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Luther on faith and Works

I was reading our Church blog the Bailey Drink when I came across a quote from Martin Luther (cited by Pastor Paris) on faith and works. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

I thank God for all the years stepping out and watching Him grow big in us. From building on Airline Drive to opening Marysong Restoration center it all has been quite a journey. But let me give you what Martin Luther says about faith. Enjoy!

“Faith is not that human notion and dream that some hold for faith. Faith, however, is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1:13); it kills the old Adam and makes altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers, and it brings with it the Holy Ghost. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith; and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises; it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. He gropes and looks about after faith and good works, and knows neither what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with many words, about faith and good works. Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times. This confidence in God’s grace and knowledge of it makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all His creatures; and this is the work of the Holy Ghost in faith. Hence a man is ready and glad, without compulsion, to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, in love and praise of God, who has shown him this grace; and thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire. Beware, therefore, of your own false notions and of the idle talkers, who would be wise enough to make decisions about faith and good works, and yet are the greatest fools. Pray God to work faith in you; else you will remain forever without faith, whatever you think or do.” Martin Luther
Been thinking about all the times I've fallen flat on my face, and the reason for doing so. Asking the Lord the hard questions of why. In part, it was because of faith in my own faith rather than faith in God. Being too confident in our own faith really can lead to a fall because it steps into the category of pride in how much faith is had.

The faith that comes from God, and that is placed soely on Him is a different thing. It is not the teeth grinding thing of "if only I can have more faith then I wont fail etc", it is a rest in knowing that no matter what happens, He will be faithful. It is through that type of faith that gives the courage to step out into those works that He calls to do. Not because we believe we have enough faith, but we place all faith in Him. Not depending upon our own self for those works to be accomplished, but on Him. So, faith without works is dead because it is through those works that He shows that faith in Him is not misplaced. Through those circumstances are His opportunity to show who He is to us and others around us. It is in the doing that the testimony is developed and the witness is established.

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