Dec 4, 2007

I really like this sermon I found of Martin Luther's, I think he does a great job of explaining a person's depravity towards Christ and what a person's response to the gospel of Christ should be, versus how it usually is. Like he says in section 15 of this particular sermon, "Ifyou would be saved you must become an altogether different man; your mind and heart must be changed."(15). That phrase alone gives much food for thought... reminds me that Christ came for the sick not the well,that a real Christian will be born again, not through actual physical re-birth but through the spirit, and that legalism is opposed to grace, just as I posted the other day, and as God is revealing to me His wisdom about as time unfolds...

I am so grateful for this work in my heart and in my mind that God is doing. I can really feel myself changing, my mind occupied with Him more and more and leaving my 'self' screaming for attention! Lol! Let it scream! "Old habits die hard."
"If you be would be savedyou must become an altogether different man; your mind and heart must be changed." I look forward to one day, in Heaven, becoming a truly "altogether different woman" but,for now, I am enjoying(mostly;)the true beginning of my ride in the passengers seat,my altogether patient God
pleasant in spite of my plastered-on grin and white knuckles at times,or my tears,
or sinful anger at other times... Oh how He understands our wayward hearts and yet loves us so, I pray that I will always have *that* kind of love for my children and my family, for my friends and those God puts on my path of life. That I might be more like Him and less like me, that a prayer God loves to bless as evidenced in His words to us in the Bible, Galatians 2:20: "I have been
crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me...", John9:39-41: Jesus said, "I have come into the world to give sight to
those who are spiritually blind and to show those who think they see--that they are blind..."


PHILIPPIANS 3:17-21: "Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so live as you have an example in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself."

"Now, the righteousness of the Law cannot effect such confidence of mind. Hence, for me it avails nothing before God; rather it is a detriment... what does avail is God's imputation of righteousness for Christ's sake, through faith. God declares to us in his Word that the believer in his Son shall, for Christ's own sake, have God's grace and eternal life. He who knows this is able to wait in hope for the last day, having no fear, no disposition to flee..."

"Paul would say of himself: "I, too, was such a one. In my most perfect righteousness of the Law I was an enemy to and persecutor of the congregation, or Church, of Christ. It was the legitimate fruit of my righteousness that I though I must be party to the most horrible persecution of Christ and his Christians. an acThus my holiness made me an actual enemy of Christ and a murderer of his followers. The disposition to injure is a natural result of the righteousness of the Law, as all Scripture history from Cain down testifies, and as we see even in the best of the world who have not come to the knowledge of Christ: Princes, civil authorities in proportion to their wisdom, their godliness and honor are the bitter and intolerant enemies of the Gospel."(10)

"If you ask, Whence such a disposition? I answer, it naturally springs from human righteousness. For every individual who professes human righteousness, and knows nothing of Christ, holds that efficacious before God. He relies upon it and gratifies himself with it, presuming thereby to present a flattering appearance in God's sight and to render himself peculiarly acceptable to him. From being proud and arrogant toward God, he comes to reject them who are not righteous according to the Law; as illustrated in the instance of the Pharisee (Lk. 18:11-12). But greater is his enmity and more bitter his hatred toward the preaching that dares to censure such righteousness and assert its futility to merit God's grace and eternal life.(13)

"I myself, and others with me, were dominated by such feelings when,
under popery, we claimed to be holy and pious; we must confess the fact. If thirty years ago, when I was a devout, holy monk, holding mass every day and having no thought but that I was in the road leading directly to heaven--if then anyone had accused me--had preached to me the things of this text and pronounced our righteousness--which accorded not strictly with the Law of God, but conformed to human doctrine and was manifestly idolatrous--pronounced it without efficacy and said I was an enemy to the cross of Christ, serving my own sensual appetites, I would immediately have at least helped to find stones for putting to death such a Stephen, or to gather wood for the burning of this worst of heretics.(14)
So human nature ever does! The world cannot conduct itself in any other way, when the declaration comes from heaven saying: "True you are a holy man, a great and learned jurist, a conscientious regent, a worthy prince, an honorable citizen, and so on, but with all your authority and your upright character you are going to hell; your every act is offensive and condemned in God's sight. If you would be saved you must become an altogether different man; your mind and heart must be changed."(15).

By Martin Luther (1483-1546)

(following sermon is taken from volume VIII of, The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House.)

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