Martin Luther on the surprises awaiting daily life.
Brother Martin, I have a few questions that need some explanation. Why is it important for us to cultivate patience?
Let us check the Bible, Galatians 5:22. From the text that precedes it, it is evident that suffering originates with God. It is a fruit of His Spirit. And mankind is made in the image and likeness of God, has a measure of this quality and can develop it by following God's word and the direction of His Holy Spirit. All Christians are therefore commanded to cultivate and display this quality. It is an identifying mark of a minister of God. But remember - one's suffering is not genuine if it is accompanied by grumbling and complaining. Be patient and do not moan.
And what are the rewards?
Just look at Jesus Christ. Because of suffering in obedience to God, he received a most marvellous reward, being exalted to the superior position of kingship and being given the name that is above every other name. So likewise, the reward is rich for all persons cultivating suffering and maintaining it in harmony with God's purpose. And don't forget that accomplishment brings an everlasting life.
You speak of man made in God's image. Can you explain in what sense?
For this, we have to take a close look in the book of Genesis, where I can prove that man is in God's image. He was created with moral qualities like those of God, namely love and justice. We are all like God, we enjoy and appreciate things such as beauty, the arts, speaking, reasoning and similar processes of the mind and heart of which the animals are not capable. Man is capable of spirituality, of knowing God and of communicating with Him. For such reasons, man was qualified to be God's representative.
So we are capable of thinking, reasoning and questioning?
At first, we have to check what thinking really is. The Hebrew term "mezimmah" is used to designate thinking ability, or the ability to give wise and thoughtful consideration to a matter, based on thorough knowledge. Of course you should think. Being able to think protects you from following the wrong path and associating with those who would lead you into temptation, in that it helps you to see what such action would lead to. This results in blessing for the individual. But from my experience, the one who truly exercises thinking ability may also become an object of hatred. Often persons who are not thinkers themselves look unfavourably upon those who utilise their mental faculties. And yet, it is worth fighting for truth and righteousness. Knowledge brings greater responsibility.
Wasn't this a privilege which God reserves for Himself?
You are referring to "the tree of the knowledge of good and bad". The long, long story of Adam and Eve. Adam decides for himself what is good and what is evil, and acts accordingly: a claim to complete moral independence by which he refuses to recognise his status as a created being. The first sin was an attack on God\'s sovereignty, a sin of pride. For my biblical understanding which I think it is indeed to understand the will of God and then once can obey the rules. This is why I made the Bible widely available and comprehensible to all, so every one can study the scriptures on their on.
So showing pride is against God, the Bible and the Church?
Is that a trick question? I remember the Pharisees and Herod's followers when approaching Jesus on the tax question. First they resorted to flattery, saying: Teacher, we know you are truthful and teach the way of God in truth." Then they posed the question: "Is it lawful to pay poll tax to Caesar or not?" Stay reasonable at all costs, as it is a distinctive feature of heavenly wisdom, and be respectful to God, because God is worthy of the greatest honour, and not those men that are treacherous and have mistranslated God's words for their own gain.
You speak of God as if you have heard or seen Him.
Well, I haven't yet witnessed God Almighty with my own eyes, but three instances in the Bible record God speaking audibly to humans. These are at the time of Jesus' baptism, at Jesus' transfiguration, with the apostles Peter, James and John present, and shortly before Jesus' last Passover. At those occasions, it was God who made himself manifest by means of audible sound of speech understandable to his servants.
The crowd thought it had thundered and some reported of white snowflakes.
- Martin Luther
- Sachsen Anhalt
Born in 1483, Martin Luther was a German theologian of the Christian religion and an Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Protestant and other Christian traditions.
His call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible resulted in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, culminating at the Council of Trent.Luther made contributions in fields beyond religion. His translation of the Bible helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. Luther's hymns sparked the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage on 13 June 1525 to Katharina von Bora began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.
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