Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seeking the Honor of Him Who Sent Me

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther:

No minister and no Christian can personally humble himself enough and be on his guard against the shameful devil of conceit....

Yet honor must be sought too; for where God’s Word and honor are concerned, a preacher and a Christian should certainly raise his head and be appropriately proud and haughty.... Then we should not take the matter lightly or be humble. The wretched devil take the humility which departs from the Word of God!

However, the adversaries construe this positiveness as a quest for honor on our part....

But when others say I am ambitious and proud, they lie; for I am seeking the honor of Him who sent me, since the Word is not my word, but God’s. If the Word I am preaching were mine, I would curse my honor. But it is God’s Word. Therefore we begin our prayer: "Hallowed be Thy name," and we are proud and haughty.

In this instance we are not to humble ourselves for the sake of people. If our doctrine does not please emperors, kings, princes, and doctors; if they expect me as a Christian or preacher to make concessions and yield in doctrine and show myself humbly submissive in the matter, then I must say: Dear pope, dear emperor, and whoever else you may be, kiss my foot! I have not invented this Word, nor have I written it. Use your spectacles, and open Scripture. There you will find it so written. From this I shall in no point whatever depart, but you must remain pupils of this Book and obey it or forever go to the devil. (W 47, 404 – E 44, 269 f – SL 7, 1082 f)

Quoted from What Luther Says (St Louis: CPH, 1959) 1370.

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