Martin Luther

Quotes of Author: Martin-luther

101.
To a believer no law is given by which he becomes righteous before God…because he is alive and righteous and saved by faith, and he needs nothing further except to prove his faith by works. Truly, if faith is there, he cannot hold back: he proves himself, breaks out into good works.

To a believer no law is given by which he becomes righteous before God…because he is alive and righteous and saved by faith, and he needs nothing further except to prove his faith by works. Truly, if faith is there, he cannot hold back: he proves himself, breaks out into good works.

Reference:   Preface to the New Testament.


102.
We are not made righteous by doing righteous deeds; but when we have been made righteous we do righteous deeds.

We are not made righteous by doing righteous deeds; but when we have been made righteous we do righteous deeds.


103.
Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works.

Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works.


104.
It is impossible, indeed, to separate works from faith, just as it is impossible to separate heat and light from fire.

It is impossible, indeed, to separate works from faith, just as it is impossible to separate heat and light from fire.


105.
Faith, however, is something that God effects in us. It changes us and we are reborn form God, John 1. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind, and in all our powers; and it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. O, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it. A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless, he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works.

Faith, however, is something that God effects in us. It changes us and we are reborn form God, John 1. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind, and in all our powers; and it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. O, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it. A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works, but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless, he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works.

Reference:   Commentary on Romans, Preface.


106.
God doesn’t love us because of our worth, we are of worth because God loves us.

God doesn’t love us because of our worth, we are of worth because God loves us.

Reference:   Quoted by Melvin Tinker, Wisdom to Live By, Christian Focus Publications, 1998, p. 115. Used by Permission.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Self-Worth
107.
Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will.

Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will.

Reference:   Martin Luther


108.
Nothing is easier than sinning.

Nothing is easier than sinning.

Reference:   The Early Years, Christian History, n. 34.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
109.
To fight against sin is to fight against the devil, the world and oneself. The fight against oneself is the worst fight of all.

To fight against sin is to fight against the devil, the world and oneself. The fight against oneself is the worst fight of all.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
110.
I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals.

I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
111.
If a doctor, able to help, were at the side of a sick person and promised to help him from his trouble and advised him how to combat his ailment or the poison he had taken, and if the sick person knew that the doctor could help him but nonetheless said: Oh, get out, I won’t accept your advice; you are no doctor, but a highwayman; I am not sick, nor have I taken poison; it will not hurt me; and if the sick person wanted to kill the doctor, would you not say that this fellow, who persecuted and wanted to kill his doctor, was not only sick but demented, mad, and irrational as well?… But this spiritual madness – that we do not want to accept help when God’s Son wants to help us – is ten times worse. Should our Lord God not be angry and let hellfire, sulfur, and pitch rain upon such ingrates? For besides being sinners, we are also so wretched as to reject help and chase away and kill those who urge us to accept it.

If a doctor, able to help, were at the side of a sick person and promised to help him from his trouble and advised him how to combat his ailment or the poison he had taken, and if the sick person knew that the doctor could help him but nonetheless said: Oh, get out, I won’t accept your advice; you are no doctor, but a highwayman; I am not sick, nor have I taken poison; it will not hurt me; and if the sick person wanted to kill the doctor, would you not say that this fellow, who persecuted and wanted to kill his doctor, was not only sick but demented, mad, and irrational as well?... But this spiritual madness – that we do not want to accept help when God’s Son wants to help us – is ten times worse. Should our Lord God not be angry and let hellfire, sulfur, and pitch rain upon such ingrates? For besides being sinners, we are also so wretched as to reject help and chase away and kill those who urge us to accept it.

Reference:   Cited in: What Luther Says, by Ewald Plass, 1959, 2:695.


112.
No one need to think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody.

No one need to think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Authority-Human
113.
Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy.

Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy.

Reference:   Quoted in: Leland Ryken, Puritan Work Ethic: Dignity of Life’s Labors, Christianity Today, Oct. 19, 1979, p. 17.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Rewards-Present
114.
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.


115.
I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.

I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years.


116.
Now the church is not wood and stone, but the company of people who believe in Christ.

Now the church is not wood and stone, but the company of people who believe in Christ.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Church-Defined
117.
The only monarch who ever deserved that man should fall down before him was a child of poverty, whose life was spent in teaching, and who died an ignominious death.

The only monarch who ever deserved that man should fall down before him was a child of poverty, whose life was spent in teaching, and who died an ignominious death.

Reference:   Quoted in: John Broadus, Matthew, Judson Press, 1886, p. 21.


118.
Peace if possible, but the truth at any rate.

Peace if possible, but the truth at any rate.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Truth-Essential
119.
If our goods are not available to the community, they are stolen goods.

If our goods are not available to the community, they are stolen goods.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Selfishness
120.
God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.

God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.

Reference:   The Early Years, Christian History, n. 34.


121.
#6- The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God. #27- They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory. #32- Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers. #53- They are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others. #62- The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. #68- [Indulgences] are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross. #76- We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.

#6- The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God. #27- They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory. #32- Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers. #53- They are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others. #62- The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. #68- [Indulgences] are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross. #76- We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.

Reference:   Ninety-five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, 1517.


122.
The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man was the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God.

The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man was the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God.


123.
An angel is a spiritual creature created by God without a body for the service of Christendom and the church.

An angel is a spiritual creature created by God without a body for the service of Christendom and the church.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Angels
124.
Were it not for tribulation I should not understand the Scriptures (Psm. 119:67, 71).

Were it not for tribulation I should not understand the Scriptures (Psm. 119:67, 71).


125.
Baptism signifies that the old Adam in us is to be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, and perish with all sins and evil lusts; and that the new man should daily come forth again and rise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Baptism signifies that the old Adam in us is to be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, and perish with all sins and evil lusts; and that the new man should daily come forth again and rise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Baptism
126.
I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.

Reference:   Christian Reader, v. 35, n. 2.


127.
“Abba” is only a little word, and yet contains everything. It is not the mouth but the heart’s affection which speaks like this. Even if I am oppressed with anguish and terror on every side, and seem to be forsaken and utterly cast away from your presence, yet am I Your child, and You are my Father. For Christ’s sake: I am loved because of the Beloved. So this little word, “Abba,” Father, deeply felt in the heart, surpasses all the eloquence of Demosthenes, Cicero, and the most eloquent speakers that ever lived. This matter is not expressed with words, but with groanings, and these groanings cannot be uttered with any words of eloquence, for no tongue can express them.

“Abba” is only a little word, and yet contains everything. It is not the mouth but the heart’s affection which speaks like this. Even if I am oppressed with anguish and terror on every side, and seem to be forsaken and utterly cast away from your presence, yet am I Your child, and You are my Father. For Christ’s sake: I am loved because of the Beloved. So this little word, “Abba,” Father, deeply felt in the heart, surpasses all the eloquence of Demosthenes, Cicero, and the most eloquent speakers that ever lived. This matter is not expressed with words, but with groanings, and these groanings cannot be uttered with any words of eloquence, for no tongue can express them.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: God-Fatherhood
128.
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved to be steady… [It] is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point [of attack].

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved to be steady… [It] is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point [of attack].

Reference:   Quoted by Francis A. Schaeffer in The Great Evangelical Disaster, Crossway, 1984, p. 50-51.


129.
The real and true work of Christ’s passion is to make man conformable to Christ, so that man’s conscience is tormented by his sins in like measure as Christ was pitiably tormented in body and soul by our sins.

The real and true work of Christ’s passion is to make man conformable to Christ, so that man’s conscience is tormented by his sins in like measure as Christ was pitiably tormented in body and soul by our sins.

Reference:   A Meditation on Christ’s Passion.


130.
I have convenanted with my Lord that he should not send me visions or dreams or even angels.  I am content with this gift of the Scriptures, which teaches and supplies all that is necessary, both for this life and that which is to come.

I have convenanted with my Lord that he should not send me visions or dreams or even angels.  I am content with this gift of the Scriptures, which teaches and supplies all that is necessary, both for this life and that which is to come.


131.
Of whom shall I be afraid?  One with God is a majority.

Of whom shall I be afraid?  One with God is a majority.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Fear_of_Man
132.
Our Lord God must be a pious man to be able to love rascals. I can’t do it, and yet I am a rascal myself.

Our Lord God must be a pious man to be able to love rascals. I can't do it, and yet I am a rascal myself.

Reference:   The Early Years, Christian History, n. 34.


133.
If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he know nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly.

If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he know nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly.


134.
Whenever the true message of the cross is abolished, the anger of hypocrites and heretics eases…and all things are in peace. This is a sure token that the devil is guarding the entry of that house, and that the pure doctrine of God’s Word has been taken away. The church, then, is in the BEST state when Satan assaileth it on every side…both with subtle sleights, and outright violence. And (likewise) it is in the WORST state, when it is most at peace!

Whenever the true message of the cross is abolished, the anger of hypocrites and heretics eases…and all things are in peace. This is a sure token that the devil is guarding the entry of that house, and that the pure doctrine of God's Word has been taken away. The church, then, is in the BEST state when Satan assaileth it on every side…both with subtle sleights, and outright violence. And (likewise) it is in the WORST state, when it is most at peace!


135.
Certainly God could with His Spirit instruct and justify those whom He would, but it has pleased His wisdom more to instruct and justify those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. The Word is the channel through which the Holy Spirit is given. [There are biblical passages] against those who hold the spoken word in contempt. The lips are the public reservoirs of the church. In them alone is kept the Word of God… Unless the Word is preached publicly, it slips away. The more it is preached, the more firmly it is retained. Reading it is not as profitable as hearing it, for the live voice teaches, exhorts, defends, and resists the spirit of error. Satan does not care a hoot for the written Word of God, but he flees at the speaking of the Word… This penetrates hearts and leads back those who stray.

Certainly God could with His Spirit instruct and justify those whom He would, but it has pleased His wisdom more to instruct and justify those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. The Word is the channel through which the Holy Spirit is given. [There are biblical passages] against those who hold the spoken word in contempt. The lips are the public reservoirs of the church. In them alone is kept the Word of God... Unless the Word is preached publicly, it slips away. The more it is preached, the more firmly it is retained. Reading it is not as profitable as hearing it, for the live voice teaches, exhorts, defends, and resists the spirit of error. Satan does not care a hoot for the written Word of God, but he flees at the speaking of the Word... This penetrates hearts and leads back those who stray.

Reference:   Works, v. 18, Lectures on the Minor Prophets: I, p. 401.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Preaching-Word
136.
I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then when I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my friend Philip of Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing: the Word of God did it all.

I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then when I slept or drank Wittenberg beer with my friend Philip of Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing: the Word of God did it all.


137.
God delights in our temptations and yet hates them. He delights in them when they drive us to prayer; He hates them when they drive us to despair.

God delights in our temptations and yet hates them. He delights in them when they drive us to prayer; He hates them when they drive us to despair.


138.
Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair

Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair

Reference:   The Early Years, Christian History, n. 34.


Author: Martin Luther
Topics: Temptation
139.
I had rather be in hell with Christ, than be in heaven without Him.

I had rather be in hell with Christ, than be in heaven without Him.