“For faith must come freely without compulsion. Take myself as an example.
I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force.
I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing.
And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything.”
Martin Luther, Eight Sermons at Wittenberg (1522)
We are concluding our series based on Journey of Lent: the Seven Wonders of the Word. We have briefly explored and pondered how the Word, both written Scripture and Christ, has the ability to create, call, command, shape and sustain. The remaining wonders of the Word is its ability to save and send.
Although I did not and will not focus on the ability of the Word to save, I had alluded to the widely held misconceptions regarding my responsibilities as a called and ordained Minister:
- It is not my responsibility to ‘shape’ you into Biblical Living and Old Testament law-abiding Christians. The Word shapes us.
- It is not my responsibility to ‘sustain’ (‘fulfill’) you in your spiritual journey.
Again, the Word sustains us.
- It is not my responsibility to bring anyone to faith or to ‘save’ them.
Again, the Word saves us.