Circumcision and Name of Jesus
"What is said there concerning the servant is true here concerning the pupil. Paul employs the two figures to teach us the office of the Law and what it profits. We must, therefore, again refer to the Law and its works, to the fact that works are of twofold origin. Some are extorted by fear of punishment or prompted by expectation of pleasure and gain; others are spontaneous, cheerful and gratuitous, not performed to escape punishment nor to gain reward, but inspired by pure kindness and a desire for what is good. The first class are the works of servants and pupils; the second class, of children and free heirs."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 267. Galatians 3:23-29
"This is the situation with him: the greater his external restraint from evil, the greater his inward hatred of him who restrains. His character is in the scales; when one side goes up, the other goes down. While outward sin decreases, inward sin increases. We know from experience that those youths most strictly reared are, when given liberty, more wicked than young men less rigidly brought up. So impossible it is to improve human nature with commandments and punishments; something else is necessary."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 268. Galatians 3:23-29
"This is why God did not, in the New Testament dispensation, abolish the secular sword. He established its place, though He did not make use of it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VI, p. 271.
"Thus, mark you, has Christ given us spiritual freedom from the Law. He did not abrogate, did not destroy, the Law. But he changed the heart which before was unwillingly under the Law. He so benefited it and made the Law so desirable that the heart has no greater delight and joy than in the Law." [following illustration of Law as destroyed prison or as luxury prison]
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 275. Galatians 3:23-29
"It is now plain to whom Paul addresses the words of this verse--the work-righteous, who would become godly through the Law and its work, who consider the first office of the Law sufficiently effective to make them righteous. This doctrine gives rise to a class who might be styled 'Absalomites.' For as Absalom remained hanging by his head, in an oak tree, suspended between heaven and earth (2 Samuel 18:9), so this class hang between heaven and earth. Shut up by the Law, they do not touch the earth; they are restrained from the things their evil nature ardently desires. On the other hand, since the Law, powerless to improve their nature, only irritates and provokes it, making them enemies to the Law, they are not godly and so do not reach heaven."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 277. Galatians 3:23-29; 2 Samuel 18:9
"The Law continually chastises us as sinners and transgressors, and threatens us with death and hell, until Christ comes and bestows His Spirit and His love, through the faith preached in the Gospel. Then we are freed from the Law. No longer it demands, no longer chastises, but lets the conscience rest. No more it terrifies with death and hell. It has become our kind friend and companion."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 281. Galatians 3:23-29
"Hence the Pope is the true Antichrist, and his high schools are the devil's own taverns and brothels. What does Christ signify if by effort of my own human nature I can obtain God's grace? Or, having grace, what more will I desire?"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 284. Galatians 3:23-29.
"'He has made himself a child of God. Crucify him! Crucify him! He is a heretic and a deceiver.' (John 19:7, 15) Look for this to be said of you; prepare for it. For so it must be."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 310. Galatians 3:23-29; John 19:7, 15
"In justification faith and works exclude each other entirely."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 712. Galatians 3:23-29.
"Those who claim that Baptism is not a Means of Grace, no washing of regeneration, must continually deny these words of Scripture, Galatians 3:27: 'For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." [Also Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5]
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5.