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The Hearing of Gladness

July 13, 2018
By Martin Luther

Let me hear joy and gladness.

PSALM 51:8

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The Hearing of Gladness

 This verse is an outstanding testimony to the adornment of the ministry of the Word or of the spoken Word. Because [David] asks for the hearing of gladness, he clearly shows that the Word is necessary for consoling minds, whether it is brought by a brother or whether the Spirit suggests a word that once was heard. . . . This is the doctrine for which we bear not only the name "heresy" but 1punishment, namely, that we attribute everything to hearing or to the Word or to faith in the Word—these are all the same—and not to our works. Yes, in the use of the Sacraments and in confession we teach men to look mainly at the Word, so that we call everything back from our works to the Word. The hearing of gladness is in Baptism, when it is said: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19); "He who believes and is baptized will he saved" (Mark 16:16). The hearing of gladness is in the Lord's Supper, when it is said, "This is My body, which is given for you" (Luke 22:19). The hearing of gladness is in confession or, to call it by its more proper name, in absolution and the use of the Keys: "Have faith. Your sins are forgiven you through the death of Christ." … We call men back to the Word so that the chief part of the whole action might be the voice of God itself and the hearing itself.

From Commentary on Psalm 51 (Luther's Works 12:369-70)

July 13

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