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Luther: What is Faith?

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I have respected the writings of Martin Luther and thought to share this.


Martin Luther's Definition of Faith:
An excerpt from
"An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans,"
Luther's German Bible of 1522
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Translated by Rev. Robert E. Smith
from DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S VERMISCHTE DEUTSCHE SCHRIFTEN.
Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63
(Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp.124-125. [EA 63:124-125]
August 1994

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream
is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by
good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they
speak and hear much about faith. ``Faith is not enough,'' they
say, ``You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.''
They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working,
creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, ``I
believe.'' That is what they think true faith is. But, because
this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything
from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this
`faith,' either.

Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives
new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us
completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits,
our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with
it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this
faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't
stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone
asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without
ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an
unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good
works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are.
Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many
words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of
God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it.
Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy,
joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The
Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you
freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve
everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who
has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to
separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from
fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard
against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough
to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools.
Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without
faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.

_________________________________________________________________

This text was translated for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert E.
Smith and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute,
copy or print this text.
 
Last edited:
Member
Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives
new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us
completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits,
our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with
it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this
faith.
I really like this, thanks mymakersdaughter, thank you very much.
 
Member
mymakersdaughter I love it, that was very good. I am going to make it a point to read more of Martin Luther's writings. Here are a few scriptures of confirmation....

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

1 Corinthians 7:25
Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 12:9
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

2 Corinthians 4:13
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Galatians 3:5
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:23
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Thank you God for the gift of faith!!!!!!
 
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