The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing. Psalm 145:15-16
Look at the well-known religious orders, and you will immediately notice that all their physical needs are completely taken care of. They have a guaranteed income, food, clothing, shelter, and all kinds of extra things acquired by the work and care of others and given to them. Therefore, they don’t risk any danger, not would they want to. Rather than having confidence in the things that no one can see (Hebrews 11:1), which is a characteristic of faith, they have confidence in their possessions.
If you find a spouse and marry, the first challenge is how to provide for your family. This challenge continues as long as you live. So marriage by its nature teaches and moves you to look to God’s hand to provide. It forces you to trust in his grace and to believe. For where there is no faith in marriage, there is a difficult, miserable existence, full of worry, anxiety, and hard work. In contrast, the less faith these famous religious orders have, the better they seem to have it. For their bellies are fed free of charge, and they don’t have to see God’s hands supply, nor do they have to wait for his goodness.
So tell me, which order could rightly be called the spiritual one? Is it not the one in which faith is necessary and has its own work to do? Is it not the one that has reason to trust in God daily, according to Psalm 145:15-16?
The order of marriage has a reason to trust in God. But religious orders don’t have this or don’t want it, for they were founded and endowed so that they wouldn’t have to worry about their needs. By doing so, they have pushed faith out and plugged up all the holes for fear it will come back in.
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.