Luther: Moralists Are Thieves

…[Paul] scolds the Galatians in great indignation for having let this divine and heavenly doctrine be stolen from their hearts so quickly and easily; it is as though he were saying: “You have teachers who want to lead you back into the slavery of the Law. I did not do this, but by my doctrine I ‘called you out of darkness into the marvelous light’ (1 Peter 2:9); I set you free from slavery and established you in the liberty of the sons of God. I did not proclaim the works of the Law and the merits of men to you; I proclaimed righteousness and the free gift of heavenly and eternal possessions through Christ. Since this is how things are, why do you forsake the light and return so easily to the darkness? Why do you permit yourselves to be dragged down with such ease from grace to the Law and from liberty to slavery?”

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), 394–95.


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One comment

  1. That is the perennial question. As Luther addressed over and over again, and especially in his master work, The Bondage of the Will. It seems that the root of most error is the inability to distinguish between law and gospel.


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