Luther On Crying Abba

In form this crying and sighing is that amid your trial you do not call God a tyrant, an angry judge, or a tormentor, but a Father—even though the sighing may be so faint that it can hardly be felt. By contrast the other crying is very great and is felt very strongly, when in genuine terror of conscience we call God wicked, cruel, an angry tyrant, and a judge. For then it seems that God has forsaken us and that He wants to banish us to hell. That is how the saints often complain in the psalms (Ps. 31:22, 12): “I am driven far from Thy sight”; “I have become like a broken vessel.” This is certainly not a sigh that says: “Father”; it is the roar of hatred for God that cries loudly: “Harsh judge, cruel tormentor!” Now it is time to turn your eyes away from the Law, from works, and from your own feelings and conscience, to lay hold of the Gospel, and to depend solely on the promise of God. Then there is emitted a little sigh, which silences and drowns out that violent roaring; and nothing remains in your heart but the sigh that says: “Abba! Father! However much the Law may accuse me, and sin and death may terrify me, nevertheless Thou, O God, dost promise grace, righteousness, and eternal life through Christ.” And so the promise produces the sigh that cries: “Father!”

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), 389.


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Posted by Tony Phelps | Wednesday, March 20, 2024 | Categorized HeidelQuotes, Martin Luther, Scripture | Tagged Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Phelps

Tony grew up in Rhode Island. He was educated at BA (University of Rhode Island) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He worked in the insurance industry for ten years. He planted a PCA church in Wakefield, RI where he served for eleven years. In 2015–18 he pastored Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Colorado Springs. He is currently pastor of Living Hope (OPC). Tony is married to Donna and together they have three children. Meet all the Heidelberg contributors»

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