Luther on Receiving the Holy Spirit

Came across this wonderful quote while writing a sermon today.  Speaking on Galatians 3:2 Luther proclaims:

“It seems unlikely that the Holy Spirit is received only by believing what we hear and that there is nothing required of us but rather we must set aside all our works and give ourselves only to hearing the Gospel.  The human heart does not understand or believe that such a great treasure–namely, the Holy Spirit–is given only by believing what we hear.  We reason that forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, righteousness, and everlasting life are great things, and therefore we must do something that is great if we want to obtain these inestimable benefits…  So when our reason hears that we can do nothing to obtain the forgiveness of sins but must only hear the Word of God, it immediately cries out ‘Rubbish! You are making the forgiveness of sins too unimportant a matter…’  We must learn that forgiveness of sins, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are given to us freely, simply by believing what we hear preached, despite our horrible sins.  We must not think about the greatness of what is given, nor about how unworthy we are of it; rather, we must think how it pleases God to give us this unutterable gift freely.”

Martin Luther “Commentary on Galatians

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One thought on “Luther on Receiving the Holy Spirit

  1. Reblogged this on margaretthought and commented:
    Galatians 3:2 – I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard?

    Footnote; Paul’s contention that justification comes not through the law or the works of the law but by faith in Christ and in his death. The story of Abraham shows that faith in God brings righteousness. The promise to Abraham extends to the Gentiles.

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