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For Our Sake

October 09, 2019
By Martin Luther

And [Abram] believed the LORD, and He counted it to him as righteousness.

GENESIS 15:6

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For Our Sake

When Moses adds that Abraham believed God, this is the first passage of Scripture which we have had until now about faith. For the others, which Moses mentioned previously—the passage about the Seed of the woman, for example, the command to build the ark, the threat of the flood, and the command to Abraham to leave his country, etc.—merely demand faith; they do not praise or recommend it. . . . Therefore this is one of the foremost passages of all Scripture. And Paul has not only expounded this passage most carefully; he also takes great pains to commend it to the Church when he adds this statement (Romans 4:23): "But the words 'it was reckoned to him' were written not for his [Abraham's] sake alone"—who later on died—but (Romans 15:4) "for our instruction, that . . . we might have hope." This is truly an instance of treating the Scriptures in an apostolic manner and of establishing the universal statement which is so dreadful and detestable to the very gates of hell: that all who believe the Word of God are just. . .. Read Paul, and read him most attentively. Then you will see that from this passage he constructs the foremost article of our faith—the article that is intolerable to the world and to Satan—namely, that faith alone justifies, but that faith consists in giving assent to the promises of God and concluding that they are true.