Martin Luther says: LEARN THE GOSPEL
- Martin Luther:
"Let every believer carefully learn the Gospel. Let him continue in
humble prayer. We are molested not by puny foes, but by mighty ones,
foes who never grow tired of warring against us. These, our enemies,
are many: Our own flesh, the world, the Law, sin, death, the wrath
and judgment of God, and the devil himself.
"The arguments which the false apostles advanced impress people to
this day. 'Who are you to dissent from the fathers and the entire
Church, and to bring a contradictory doctrine? Are you wiser than so
many holy men, wiser than the whole Church?' When Satan, abetted by
our own reason, advances these arguments against us, we lose heart,
unless we keep on saying to ourselves: 'I don't care if Cyprian,
Ambrose, Augustine, Peter, Paul, John, or an angel from heaven,
teaches so and so. I know that I teach the truth of God in Christ
"When I first took over the defense of the Gospel, I remembered what
Doctor Staupitz said to me. 'I like it well,' he said, 'that the
doctrine which you proclaim gives glory to God alone and none to man.
For never can too much glory, goodness, and mercy be ascribed unto
God.' These words of the worthy Doctor comforted and confirmed me.
The Gospel is true because it deprives men of all glory, wisdom, and
righteousness and turns over all honor to the Creator alone. It is
safer to attribute too much glory unto God than unto man.
"You may argue that the Church and the fathers are holy. Yet the
Church is compelled to pray: 'Forgive us our trespasses,' I am not to
be believed, nor is the Church to be believed, or the fathers, or the
apostles, or an angel from heaven, if they teach anything contrary to
the Word of God. Let the Word of God abide forever.
"Peter erred in life and in doctrine. Paul might have dismissed
Peter's error as a matter of no consequence. But Paul saw that
Peter's error would lead to the damage of the whole Church unless it
were corrected. Therefore he withstood Peter to his face. The Church,
Peter, the apostles, angels from heaven, are not to be heard unless
they teach the genuine Word of God.
"This argument is not always to our advantage. People ask: 'Whom then
shall we believe?' Our opponents maintain that they teach the pure
Word of God. We do not believe them. They in turn hate and persecute
us for vile heretics. What can we do about it? With Paul we glory in
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What do we gain? We are told that our
glorying is idle vanity and unadulterated blasphemy. The moment we
abase ourselves and give in to the rage of our opponents, Papists and
Anabaptists grow arrogant. The Anabaptists hatch out some new
"The Papists revive their old abominations. What to do? Let everybody
become sure of his calling and doctrine, that he may boldly say with
Paul: 'But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed.'"
(Commentary on Galatians 1:11,12)