Luther: The Law—Do It All!

Therefore this is an important and powerful argument that Paul is presenting here against the righteousness of works: “Neither the Law nor works redeem from the curse, but only Christ.” Therefore I implore you for God’s sake to distinguish Christ from the Law and to pay diligent attention to how Paul is speaking and to what he is saying. “It is necessary,” he says, “that all who do not keep the Law be under a curse.” But no one keeps the Law. Therefore the first proposition is true, namely, that all men are under a curse. Then he adds a second proposition: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us.” Therefore the Law and works do not redeem from the curse. On the contrary, they drag us down and subject us to the curse. Therefore love, which, according to the sophists, “informs” faith, not only does not redeem from the curse but forces and wraps us into it even more.

Martin Luther | Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 26 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 286.


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