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The Gifts of God

January 21, 2019
By Martin Luther

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!... Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

PSALM 4:1

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The Gifts of God

By the very fact that [God] has mercy on me He justifies me. His mercy is my righteousness. For unless He Himself has mercy, I am not righteous. What is mercy if I do not receive it? But if I receive it, then I have been made righteous. Therefore, since this psalm, as I said, is an "invitation," it ought to teach one how to confess and praise. As I said, he is best who sets before him for contemplation the gifts he has received. We are excited by the gifts we have received. But now the noun "mercy" denotes what is given by the one who has mercy, whereas my righteousness denotes what has been received from the one who has mercy. . .. You see, then, that the prophet in a most excellent way acknowledges the gifts of God which he has received, and all of them, as I have said, at least the spiritual ones, are subsumed under righteousness and mercy. It is with these that a man is something in the presence of God.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 4 (Luther's Works 10:47)

January 21

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