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How Precious Is the Grace of God

August 05, 2018
By Martin Luther

Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.

PSALM 63:3

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How Precious Is the Grace of God

See how greatly he esteems and magnifies the mercy of God. For in the judgment of all there is nothing more precious than life. Of all things it is especially sought, and so are all things for its sake, so that life is commonly called a noble thing. But here he says that God's mercy is "better," not than gold, silver, purple, and jewels, nor only "one life," but better than "all lives" that anyone could have and contemplate. For the plural "lives" embraces all. From this it is clear how precious we should consider the grace of God, so that we ought to despise even a thousand lives for it and undergo a thousand deaths for it. But alas, how many there are who do not only not despise one life or one death, but not even one sickness or health for its sake, yea, rather choose one denarius and sometimes one word than to keep that mercy! Therefore, if it is better than lives, we are surely taught here to keep it in such a way that, if necessary, we would be prepared to lose all riches, honors, and pleasures and to undergo every reproach, poverty, and affliction, as the kind of people who should despise lives and deaths for its sake.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 63 (Luther's Works 10:305-6)

August 5

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