For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Corinthians 4:7
God is loving and kind by nature. Therefore, he cannot keep himself from giving us abundant gifts. He gives us homes and families, healthy bodies, wisdom, skills and talents, and knowledge of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, we cannot keep ourselves from taking credit for these gifts and boasting about them. Without God’s gifts, our lives would be miserable. But even with God’s gifts, our lives end up being miserable because we are still experiencing the effects of original sin. The whole human race is thoroughly infected with original sin. Unbelievers don’t understand the seriousness of it, so they act as if it doesn’t matter.
We see this problem, not only in ourselves, but in others as well. We brag about our material possessions, even though these are rated as the least valuable of God’s abundant gifts. Consequently, the wealthy, regardless of whether they are nobles, merchants, or farmers, consider other people to be mere pests. Even more serious abuses exist with the more important gifts, such as wisdom and justice. The fact that God gives his gifts to everyone results in the following predicament: God cannot tolerate boasting, and we cannot keep from doing it.
This was how the world sinned before the flood. Among Cain’s descendants were some of the finest and most intelligent people in the world. But in God’s eyes they were very evil because they had become they had become filled with pride about the gifts God had given them. Then they despised God, who gave them their gifts in the first place. The world doesn’t understand why this is wrong and therefore doesn’t condemn this behavior. But God condemns it.
Barnas Sears, D.D.
Controversial and visionary, Luther’s life is revealed in this rare presentation of his work as an educator and church leader. From his birth and childhood, to his religious education, and the events leading up to the Protestant Reformation, you will discover the views and experiences that led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1520. Correspondence and accounts shed further light on Luther’s defiant translation of the Bible from Latin to the language of the common man.
This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.