Question about supposed quote by Martin Luther

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Pastor Don Robertson | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 30 2013 8:32 AM

The following quote is often attributed to Martin Luther:

"We need to hear the gospel everyday because we forget it every day" but I cannot find the actual source if it does exist.  Could someone provide the source?

In Christ,

Don Robertson

Pearland, TX

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 8:44 AM

Doing a search in my library resulted in nothing useful. Tongue Tied Doing a google search pulled up your sermon. Smile

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Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 9:19 AM

I have Luther's Works, and I searched on

  • gospel NEAR every NEAR day
  • gospel NEAR forget
  • forget NEAR "every day"

I got hits, but they weren't really anything like the quote you gave.

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 9:44 AM

Pastor Don Robertson:

The following quote is often attributed to Martin Luther:

"We need to hear the gospel everyday because we forget it every day" but I cannot find the actual source if it does exist.  Could someone provide the source?

In Christ,

Don Robertson

Pearland, TX

I personally do not recall reading this in any of Luther's writings.  It sounds to me that someone took Luther's view of baptism and modified it.  Luther said 

Martin Luther:
It signifies that the old creature in us with all sins and evil desires is to be drowned and die through daily contrition and repentance, and on the other hand that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000) 360.

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Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 5:30 PM

Searched Luther's Works and Luther's Table Talk and found nothing similar.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 5:45 PM

tom:
I personally do not recall reading this in any of Luther's writings.  It sounds to me that someone took Luther's view of baptism and modified it.

Yeah - it is easy to hear echos of the Small Catechism on Baptism here. - or I suppose the Catechism on Confession too.  But the exact quote is unfamiliar to me.

SDG

Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 5:49 PM

Sounds like that famous text that I use to hear so often a long time ago. "What is needful is lawful"

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 3:39 AM

Ken McGuire:
I suppose the Catechism on Confession too.
Very true.

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 4:23 AM

Pastor Don Robertson:
We need to hear the gospel everyday because we forget it every day
Not only do I don't think Luther said this, this statement doesn't even sound like Luther to me.  This statement as written puts the emphases on the hearer -  not on God's.  For an example, Luther wrote:

Martin Luther:
I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my LORD or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church.

Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000) 355.

Luther puts the emphases on God - not people.

Posts 1634
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 4:34 AM

Drifting off topic, but Luther very much had a "for us" - or "for you" (the hearer) aspect to just about everything he said.  Isn't that what all of what he said about the preached God vs. the Hidden God all about?

I just think that Luther would have tied the quote to some to some specific gift of God to us - like Baptism, or the word of the Gospel in Confession, etc.  He wasn't that big on abstract thought that could divert us from the Babe in the manger or the Man on the Cross.

SDG

Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Basic, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

Posts 249
DHG | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 5:27 AM

I could be wrong here, but I believe it may be a very loose translation of this quote:

"It is, therefore, extremely necessary that we come to know this doctrine [the Gospel] well and constantly inculcate it." Luther's Works, Vol. 26, p 91

I've seen it paraphrased several different ways.

Posts 249
DHG | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 5:55 AM

Check out how John Stott quotes/paraphrases the passage:

"This is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consisteth. Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually."  The Message of Galatians on Galatians 2:15–21

Very different, but I like it!

Posts 9
Pastor Don Robertson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 7:55 AM

I take it that you are quoting John Stott's summary of Gal. 2:15-21 in his commentary "The Message of Galatians" but not really validating the supposed quote by Luther I asked about?  Am I reading you correctly? 

If this is what you are doing, I do appreciate what Stott is saying. 

Posts 9
Pastor Don Robertson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 9:02 AM

I take it that you are quoting John Stott's summary of Gal. 2:15-21 in his commentary "The Message of Galatians" but not really validating the supposed quote by Luther I asked about?  Am I reading you correctly? 

If this is what you are doing, I do appreciate what Stott is saying.

Posts 249
DHG | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 4:01 PM

My first post was from Luther's Works.  I believe that is the quote you asked about.  I also included Stott's quote because he was quoting the exact same passage from Luther, but it was translated quite differently.

Posts 2
David Bosshard | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 1 2019 8:12 AM

I realize this is a very old post, but was looking for this answer myself. I believe it is a paraphrase of this: “The highest of all God’s commands is this, that we ever hold up before our eyes the image of his dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He must daily be to our hearts the perfect mirror, in which we behold how much God loves us and how well, in his infinite goodness, as a faithful God, he has grandly cared for us in that he gave his dear Son for usDo not let this mirror and throne of grace be torn away from before your eyes.”

Tappert, Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, p. 116.

Posts 42
DHG | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 1 2019 8:19 AM

Interesting. Could be.

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