September 16

 

So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.   John 7:16

 

Christ answered his adversaries carefully.  He showed that he understood them and realized they were accusing and slandering him.  They thought his teaching came from the devil.  So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not my own.  It comes from him who sent me.” Does that make sense?  If Jesus’ words were not his own, why did he preach, promote, and embrace them so strongly?  Why did he refuse to accept the honor of his own words?  Why didn’t he say, “This is my teaching”?

Christians often say, “This is my sermon, my baptism, my Christ, my God.”  Or we might say, “my gospel.”  Yet none of these are ours, for we didn’t create them.  They didn’t originate in us.  They aren’t our works.  Yet, at the same time, they are ours because God gives them to us.  In the same way, we might say, “my child,” “my husband,” or “my wife.”  Yet none of those people are truly ours, for we didn’t create them.  They are the work of another, and they are presented and given to us.  We didn’t pour them into a mold or carve them out of wood.  They were given to us as gifts.  Christ says the same about his teaching.

This is why I insist that this gospel is mine.  It’s different than the teaching of other preachers.  This is my teaching – in other words, Luther’s teaching.  At the same time, I’m saying, “It’s not my teaching.  It’s not my work, but God’s gift.”  I didn’t create it in my head.  It didn’t grow in my garden.  I didn’t give birth to it. Rather it is God’s gift.  So both are true.  The gospel is mine, yet it’s not mine, because it’s God’s.

 

 

Life of Luther

 

Barnas Sears, D.D.

 

An historic and comprehensive biography of early Christianity’s most influential leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther.

 

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.

 

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