Brothers of John the Steadfast

Sayings -by- Luther

Luther on doctrine and life: Furthermore, it is quite evident that there is a great difference between teaching and life, just as there is a great difference between heaven and earth. Life may well be impure, sinful, and frail, but the teaching must be pure, holy, clear, and steadfast. Life may well be in error and not keep everything which the teaching commands, but the teaching (says Christ [Matt. 5:18]) must not lack one tittle or letter, whereas life may perhaps lack a whole word or line of the teaching. The reason is this: the teaching is God's Word and God's truth itself, while life includes our actions also. Therefore the teaching must remain altogether pure. If someone falls short and is frail in life, then God can indeed have patience and forgive, but in the teaching itself, by which one is supposed to live, God can and will tolerate no changing or cancellation, and he ought not tolerate anything of the sort, either, for there his high divine majesty itself is affected. There it is no longer a question of forgiving or having patience, and consequently it is best to leave the teachings in peace and not tamper with them.

LW 34:77 Commentary on the Alleged Imperial Edict


Lutheran Father Sayings #151 by Brothers of John the Steadfast.

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