Sunday, March 30, 2014

Martin Luther Struggles to Love God

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” – Romans 1:15-17


Tim Keller writes about Martin Luther's early struggles with Romans: 

Martin Luther was a German monk who had been taught that God required him to live a righteous life in order to be saved. And so he had grown to hate God, for first requiring of him what he could not do, and then for leaving him to fail. Then Luther read and finally grasped the meaning of Romans 1:17—"In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last”: 

“I labored diligently and anxiously as to how to understand Paul’s word … the expression ‘the righteousness of God’ blocked the way, because I took it to mean that righteousness whereby God is righteous and deals righteously in punishing the unrighteous. Although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner…therefore I did not love a righteous and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him …Then I grasped that the righteousness of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us by faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise … I broke through. And as I had formerly hated the expression ‘the righteousness of God,’ I now began to regard it as my dearest and most comforting word.” 

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