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Commentary on Galations

Commentary on Galations

Regular price $10.99
  • ISBN-13: 9781481202954
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Dec 09, 2012
  • Pages: 198 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.45 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches

Overview

Martin Luther's "Commentary on Galatians" remains, after almost half a millennium, perhaps the most vigorous and profound manifesto for the Protestant and evangelical doctrine of justification by faith alone. Within Lutheranism, it was recommended by the later compilers of the Book of Concord as a powerfully inspired treatment of justification by faith, while in British Protestant circles, both John Bunyan (author of The Pilgrim's Progress) and Charles Wesley found their whole lives transformed by this book. Following St. Paul, Luther sees a life and death (literally) opposition between law and faith. Under law, we believe that God approaches us as an angry judge, and we try to win this angry judge over by doing good works for him. Since we are sinners by nature, we cannot fulfill the demands of God who by nature must demand perfection, to remain under the law is to remain under sin, its death, and the devil. As Luther reads Paul, the man under law lives by works, always striving to please this angry God, yet in his heart of hearts he blasphemes Him for demanding the perfect works man cannot give. Yet in Christ God shows that He demands nothing of us but loves us and is heartily willing to forgive us, a promise He sealed in blood on the cross. When we see Christ crucified and have faith that now God is now no angry judge but a tender father eager only to give us all good things, then we are no longer under law but under grace, which brings us freedom, hope, and the desire to do good works, not of a bitter and despairing heart, but freely. As Luther notes, church fathers like Jerome felt profoundly uncomfortable with Paul's violent denunciation of the law, and in their commentaries tried to tone it down. They insisted that by "law" Paul meant only the Jewish law with its out-dated ceremonies and sacrifices, and at several points treated Paul's categorical statements as almost scandalous exaggeration (see, for example, Luther's citations of Jerome's commentary on Gal. 3:13). Luther, however, insists that law here, as in Paul's other epistles, means exactly the moral law and his statements about the moral law for a sinner leading only to death and the curse of God must be read seriously, not dismissed as hyperbole.

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