Luther: We Are No Longer Under The Types And Shadows

Now the Galatians had been forced by the false apostles to observe these same rites as something necessary for righteousness. This is why he says that they have lost grace and Christian liberty, and have turned back to the slavery of the weak and beggarly elements. They had been persuaded by the false apostles that these laws had to be observed; that when they were observed, they granted righteousness; but that when they were neglected, they brought damnation. But Paul does not permit consciences to be bound by the Mosaic Law in any way, but everywhere he sets them free from the Law. “Now I, Paul,” he says later on, in chapter five (v. 2), “say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” In Col. 2:16 he says: “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.” Thus Christ says (Luke 17:20): “The kingdom of God does not come by observance.” Much less should consciences be burdened and ensnared by human traditions.

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), 411.


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Posted by Tony Phelps | Tuesday, May 7, 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»

One comment

  1. this just reminds me of my older brother who was sequestered (by choice) in a compound in SC called Overcomer Ministries, led by R.G. Stair. I had the opportunity to write him back in the early 2000’s about being set free from the law and saved by grace through faith. What I got back was 11 pages of how I was surely hell-bound for not following particular observances in the bible, observances authorized by…Stair alone.
    The law kills, yet it’s still taught in some circles as the way of life. Luther knew the dangers associated with living according to the letter, as Paul put forth in Galatians. I learned a lot from my brother at that point; mainly how not to live the christian life.


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