The Comfort of knowing that salvation does not depend on "free-will"

The following it taken from Martin Luther's "Bondage of the Will."
(Webmaster's note: Sadly, the Lutherans I know have departed from Luther's (and the biblical) teaching on this matter as well as his teaching on predestination--see Double or Nothing in the articles list-- otherwise, I would be worshipping among them.)

 

 

HOME

THE GOSPEL

STATEMENT
OF FAITH

ARTICLES

NEWZ

GOSPEL VERSES

GOSPEL SHOCKERS

TWO GOSPELS?

GOSPEL PROOFS

FAITH ALONE

GOOD WORKS

BIBLE AIDS

ABOUT THE MASS

HOLY COMMUNION

COUNCIL OF TRENT

DOGMA

END TIMES

EWTN

LINKS


I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want "free-will" to be given to me, nor anything to justify in my own hands to enable me to endeavor after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities, and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground and hold fast my "free-will" (for one devil is stronger than all men, and on these terms no man could be saved); but because even were there no dangers, adversities, or devils, I should still be forced to labor with no guarantee of success, and to beat my fists at the air. If I lived and worked to all eternity, my conscience would never reach comfortable certainty as to how much it must do to satisfy God. Whatever work I had done, there would still be a nagging doubt as to whether it pleases God, or whether He required something more. The experience of all who seek righteousness by works proves that; and I learned it well enough myself over a period of many years, to my own great hurt. But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that he is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. "No one," He says, "shall pluck them out of my hand, because my Father which gave them to me is greater than all" (John 10:28-29). Thus it is that, if not all, yet some, indeed many, are saved; whereas, by the power of "free-will" none at all could be saved, but every one of us would perish. Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favor promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God. --Martin Luther