Saturday, June 14, 2008

Luther and Suffering | Commentary on Romans 5:4

"Since the Lord in many passages is given the name of Savior and Helper in suffering, the one who is unwilling to suffer as much as he can deprives Christ of His true titles and names. Thus to this person there will be no Jesus, that is, no Savior, because that person is unwilling to be damned; for them there will be no God the Creator because they are unwilling to be nothing, so that God may be their Creator. God will be no power, wisdom, or good to that person, because they do not want God to uphold them in their weakness, foolishment, or their punishment" (LW Volume 25, page 290).

"Of whatever quality suffering finds characteristics and people to be, it makes them even more. Thus if a person is carnal, weak, blind, evil, irascible, arrogant, etc., when trial comes, they become more carnal, weaker, blinder, more evil, more irascible, more arrogant, etc. And on the other hand, if they are spiritual, brave, wise good, meek, and humble, they become more spiritual, braver, wiser, better, meeker, and humbler. In Psalm 4:1 we read: 'Thou hast given me room when I was in distress.' But concerning the other kind of people, Matthew 7:27 says, 'The flood came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and great was the fall thereof.'" (page 288)

I have been pondering how to connect the Romans 5 passage to the events of this past week, with all the flooding, etc., and I have found these two quotes of Luther in his commentary on Romans to be of immeasurable help.

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