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echoes of thought in love with God through Christ crucified

[Obedience to God’s will would], they say, be a burden too heavy for Christians! As if we could think of anything more difficult than to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength! Compared with this law, everything ought to be considered easy—whether the requirement to love our enemy or to banish all desire for revenge from our hearts. All these are indeed hard and difficult for our feebleness, even to the least detail of the law [cf. Matt. 5:18; Luke 16:17]. It is the Lord in whom we act virtuously. … To be Christians under the law of grace does not mean to wander unbridled outside the law, but to be engrafted in Christ, by whose grace we are free of the curse of the law, and by whose Spirit we have the law engraved upon our hearts [Jer. 31:33].

—John Calvin
Institutes, 2.8.57.

Just so no one accuses me again of forbidding good works, let me say that one should with all seriousness be contrite and remorseful, confess and do good works. … After [the grace of God] we can do a lot of good [works]—to the glory of God alone and to the benefit of our fellow-men, and not in order that we might depend upon that as sufficient to pay for our sin. For God gives us his grace freely and without cost; so we should also serve him freely and without cost.

—Martin Luther
“Word and Sacrament I” in LW, 35:17.

It is the antithesis of all false preachers, as they are described in Galatians (Gal. 6:13): “They desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.” So all false teachers seek their own glory, although they give lip service to the glory of God. … Yet the Gospel proclaims the glory of God alone. “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1), not their own glory. The glory of God is that God alone is wise, righteous, and the Redeemer. It follows that we are foolish and lost sinners, because the glory of God is not set forth unless we ourselves are confounded. The papists do not want this confounding, yea, they ascribe a part of righteousness to their own glory, and therefore it cannot bear the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts the whole world of sin (John 16:8) and proclaims the righteous Christ and His glory alone. It is the office of an evangelical preacher to proclaim the glory of God alone.

—Martin Luther
“Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66” in LW, 17:172–173.

The Son of God is “the true Light, which lights every man that cometh into the world.” Therefore whoever does not acknowledge Christ and believe in Him, and does not make Him his own, is and remains a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and of damnation, no matter what he is called or what he is. But if man is to find mercy, Christ alone must be the means. He alone makes us paupers rich with His superabundance, expunges our sins with His righteousness, devours our death with His life, and transforms us from children of wrath, tainted with sin, hypocrisy, lies, and deceit, into children of grace and truth. Whoever does not possess this Man possesses nothing.

—Martin Luther
“Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4” in Works, 22:130–131.

All that repent are justified through faith by Christ, and not by works. Paul … concludeth that every man must be justified without deservings, without works, and without help of the law; but alone by Christ.

—William Tyndale
“A Prologue upon the Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians” in The Works of William Tyndale, 1:513.

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