12 October 2007

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

More Urbanus Rhegius, Confessor at Smalcald, on the Saints:

We should call upon Christ our only redeemer, bishop, mediator, and intercessor in heaven with the Father, and flee to him with confidence in every need as the mercy seat where God alone has arranged to be found in grace. For he himself says: "Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." All Scripture points us to Christ, who alone brings us to the Father. He alone is our "merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God" in those things we have to bring before God.

Nowhere does Scripture teach that in our need we should flee to those who have died in the Lord, call upon them, or expect and seek help from them. Scripture does teach, however, that one should otherwise honor the saints as elect members of Christ and our faithful brothers and sisters, that is, we should speak of them with respect, praise God in them and them in God, who showed such abundant grace to them and exalted them to such glory. Let us find proof of such grace every day, so that we learn through these examples to expect the same grace and help from our faithful God and so that we are moved to ask God earnestly to give us poor sinners who still struggle with the flesh the same faith, hope, and love enjoyed by the beloved saints while here on earth. In this way we may be able through Christ to overcome our own sinful flesh, the world, and the evil spirit and join the beloved saints. This is certainly also their heart-felt desire, for they love us and rejoice at our devotion and our salvation. *Preaching the Reformation* p. 107

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