"He shows, moreover, that it is customary in Scripture to call temptation and tribulation in this life a fire. As the furnace tests the vessels of the potter, so also tribulation tests unjust people."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, III, p. 254. 1 Corinthians 3:15.
"The sins which militate against the Third Commandment are the profanation of the Sabbath through neglect and contempt of the ministry, through Judaic and superstitious observance of the Sabbath, or through a shifting of the ministry into the kingdom of this world. The faithfulness of those who teach is the virtue by which the ministers of the Church, aware of their modest skill in Christian doctrine, carefully and zealousy discharge and steadfastly protect all the duties of the faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God in teaching, debating, comforting and setting their hearers an example of true devotion and of all the virtues. The other extreme are faithlessness, heedless teaching or negligence in office, or deserting the ministry because of excessive anxiety or concern over one's own weakness."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith, (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 71f.
"Those, however, who set the time, place and measure, tempt God, and believe not that they are heard or that they have obtained what they asked; therefore, they also receive nothing."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 172.
"So it is with all Christian; where faith is not continually kept in motion and exercised, it weakens and decreases, so that it must indeed vanish; and yet we do not see nor feel this weakness ourselves, except in times of need and temptation, when unbelief rages too strongly; and yet for that very reason faith must have temptations in which it may battle and grow."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 254.
"That temptation occurs before God's Word is heard; this after we hear the Word, namely thus: when we know that God has promised help in the time of any trouble, but are not content with it, go forward and will not abide His promise, but prescribe time, place, and manner for His help; and then if He does not come as we expect and desire, faith vanishes."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 366.
"He who holds fast to the Word alone, trusts and abides in it, does not doubt that what the Word says will come to pass; he who does not dictate aim or time or means and ways, but resigns all freely to God's will and pleasure as to when, how, where, and by whom He will fulfill His Word; he, I say, has a true living faith which does not nor cannot tempt God."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 367.
"The second characteristic of faith is that it does not desire to know, nor first to be assured whether it is worthy of grace and will be heard, like the doubters, who grasp after God and tempt Him. Just as a blind man runs against a wall, so they also plunge against God, and would first gladly feel and be assured that he can not escape out of their hands."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 66.
"Behold, so powerful is faith, to obtain all it wants of God, that God considers it done before the asking. Of this Isaiah says, 65:24: 'And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.' Not as though faith or we were worthy of it, but in order that he might show His unspeakable goodness and willing grace, thereby to stir us to believe in Him, and comfortingly look to Him for every good thing, with joyful and unwavering consciences, which do not stumble after Him nor tempt Him."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 69.
[ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy] "This is spoken to all Christians, for every Christian must have temptations, trails, anxieties, adversities, sorrows, come what may. Therefore He mentions here no sorrow nor trial, He simply says they shall weep, lament, and be sorrowful, for the Christian has many persecutions. Some are suffering loss of goods; others there are whose character is suffering ignominy and scorn; some are drowned, others are burned; some are beheaded; one perishes in this manner, and another in that; it is therefore the lot of the Christian constantly to suffer misfor- tune, persecution, trials and adversity. This is the rod or fox tail with which they are punished. They dare not look for anything better as long as they are here. This is the court color by which the Christian is recognized,and if anyone wants to be a Christian, he dare not be ashamed of his court color or livery."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 79.
Temptation Tests People
"When the Gospel begins to assert its influence, everybody wants to become a Christian. All seems well, and everybody is pleased. But when a wind or rainstorm of temptation comes on, people fall away in droves. Then sectaries arrive, as worms and bugs, gnawing and polluting the fruits of the Gospel, and so much false doctrine arises that few stay with the Gospel."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 37. John 4:46-54.
"Observe, then, the depreciative, contemptuous, and scorning ring in the words of the Reformed when they speak of the sacred Means of Grace, the Word and the Sacraments, and the grand majestic ring in the words of the Lord and the apostles when they speak of these matters...The true reason for the Reformed view is this: They do not know how a person is to come into possession of the divine grace, the forgiveness of sin, righteousness in the sight of God, and eternal salvation. Spurning the way which God has appointed, they are pointing another way, in accordance with new devices which they have invented."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 152f.