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An Unchangeable Work

February 12, 2020
By Martin Luther

[Isaac] said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing."

GENESIS 27:35

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An Unchangeable Work

At this point the question is raised why Isaac did not revoke the blessing, since Jacob took it away with guile.... One should not imagine that Isaac, even though he was violently terrified, gave thought to a revocation; for he knew that the blessing was an utterly permanent and unchangeable work and gift of God. Thus when I give Baptism to someone, then my heart and will are completely certain that I really want to baptize. But if he who is being baptized acts deceitfully, I have still administered a true Baptism which is not my own but is truly a divine work. In this way Isaac also said: "I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed" [Genesis 27:33]. And this he previously decided earnestly in his own mind, and it was not without special deliberation that he put it off to the end of his life. Therefore he was certain that when he blessed, he was uttering a definitive statement pronounced and confirmed by divine authority. And it was the same blessing that he had received by hereditary right from the fathers: from Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the others. Such statements cannot and must not be changed, for God does not change His gifts. He does not revoke Baptism, absolution, and the other gifts He bestows through His Word. If He forgives me my sins, then they have truly been forgiven.