Martin Luther on Grace
With God nothing has any standing except grace.
Grace signifies that favour with which God receives us, forgiving our sins and justifying us freely through Christ.
The best and infallible preparation [for grace] is the eternal election and predestination of God.
As far as our own abilities are concerned, there is no difference whatever between us; but the grace of Christ alone causes us to differ.
On man’s part, nothing precedes grace but rebellion against grace.
No-one can be good and do good unless God’s grace first makes him good.
Grace is freely given to the most undeserving and unworthy, and is not obtained by any strenuous efforts, endeavours or works.
To want to merit grace by works that precede faith is to want to appease God by sins.
Since we are one mass of perdition, no-one is justified except through the grace of Christ without merits.
Either sin is lying on your shoulders, or on Christ, the Lamb of God. According to law and justice, your sins should no doubt remain on you; but grace has cast them upon Christ the Lamb.
Grace and life were given you [believers], but it meant bitter work for Him [Christ].
The Word, I say, and the Word alone, is the conveyor of the grace of God. . . No matter what things appear to be like, grace clings to the Word.
No nobler preaching exists than that of grace.
Grace freely grants us the faith that alone justifies us.
Conscience cannot be brought to rest and joy unless it has peace through this grace; i.e. the forgiveness of sins promised in Christ.
Man must completely despair of himself in order to become fit for the grace of Christ. The proper preparation for the grace and goodness of Christ is the awareness that I need them.
The devil is forever attracting people to good works to make sure that they do not reach the point of thinking that they need the grace and mercy of Christ.
The law is not to be discarded because of the promise of grace. Rather it is to be taught.
In giving us gifts, God gives only what is His; but in His grace, He gives His very self. . . Grace is not divisible nor is it given piecemeal, as are gifts; but it takes us entirely into God’s favour for the sake of Christ, our Advocate and Mediator.
This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.
Christ our Lord, to whom we must flee, and of whom we must ask all, is an inexhaustible well of all grace. Even if the whole world were to draw from this fountain enough grace and truth to transform all people into angels, still it would not lose as much as a drop. This fountain constantly overflows with sheer grace. Whoever wishes to enjoy Christ’s grace – and no-one is excluded – let him come and receive it from Him.
I am seeking and thirsting for nothing else than a gracious God.
Gathered by John Brentnall in Peace and Truth 2008:1.
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