True Lutheran (the Dr. on the conversion of Paul)
- Since Luther is being claimed for Rome by someone on the message board, I thought I'd share some excerpts from Martin Luther's sermon "The Conversion of St. Paul", which I just read:...in short Paul is the kind of man who is ready to wipe out and bury the whole of Christianity in one fell swoop, had he been able. And why? On what grounds? Nothing other than that he had heard Christians proclaiming that no one could be saved by the Law of Moses; rather if a person is to be saved it must come about through the crucified Christ; without him there was no forgiveness of sins let alone eternal life. As he hears that, how Moses is repudiated as the way of salvation and how all prophets had testified to this insufficiency of Moses, Paul had become raving mad with fury.4. The situation is much the same with the pope and his followers when they hear that the canon laws, monkery, orders, prayer, fasting, and saying the Mass, do not avail for salvation before God: they are ready to burst forth with maliciousness and can absolutely not tolerate such preaching. This was the thinking of Paul except his motivation was on a higher plane than that of the pope and his followers. For his concern was for God's word and Law; this he wanted to uphold, so that the Law, sacrifices, the temple and all that God had ordained might continue to be kept and not be thrown out; and for this he was prepared to give his life. After all, how could these things be wrong since they were given and ordained by God. The pope does not have God's word, but his own decrees and human ordinances. Precisely for that reason we stand opposed to their Masses, orders, prayers, and fasting as being wrong and umavailing before God, because they are not ordained by God but conceived out of their own ideas arbitrarily, without regard fo what God has ordained. And yet we see how they presume nonetheless to maintain their idolatrous practices. [last 2 sentences sound quite like an affirmation of RPW]5. So when we look into the heart of Paul to see what it was that motivated him to be hostile to the Christians, to obtain incriminating letters against the Christians, and become an executioner for the Jews, we perceive he had much more valid grounds than the papists who persecute the gospel simply for the sake of money, goods, station and prestige. None of that moves Paul...The papists own conscience, on the other hand, bears witness to them that the reception of both elements in the Sacrament is not wrong, nor to be married, nor to use foods and other things freely; for they cannot belie Gods word or the teachings of Christ, also not the usages in the early church.6. Paul, therefore, is more pious than the papists, since he seeks only to uphold God's word and honor, and is willing to risk his life and suffer any cost; moreover, what he does is done in ignorance as he himself states (1 Tim 1:13.) Thats something the papists of today [& indeed today] cannot lay claim to. For the fact is that what they do is simply for their own stomach's sake. The word of God hits them straight before the eyes and lights up their eyes, so they have to acknowledge that it is true, and yet the refuse to allow or tolerate it...7. Our Lord Jesus has other plans for him. Halt! This is the man I want! Whatever he sets his mind to he does with determination; and this resolve which he now manifests in an evil way, I will turn around with my Spirit and utilize fo a good purpose. I will set him in contention with the Jews and cause them to rage and fume as they rightfully deserve. Similarly, today, the Lord God has used me against the pope and his minions; earlier I was ready to let myself be torn apart because of the pope but now I must fight against him with might and main...Have a blessed Lord's Day and a Happy Reformation Day, remembering the finished work of Jesus recovered by the mighty work God began through Luther.