Sunday, May 23, 2010

'The treasure lies yet in one pile...'

16. But in addition to what is thus preached, something else is needed; for even though I hear the preaching, I do not at once believe. Therefore, God adds his Holy Spirit, who impresses this preaching upon the heart, so that it abides there and lives. It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through him we are lords over all things. But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is not yet distributed nor invested. Consequently, if we are to possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe and say: I, too, am one of those who are to have this treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying: Dear Father, if it is thy will to show toward me such great love and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what pleases thee. Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil eyes, does not imagine he will cast us into hell, as it did before the Holy Spirit came, when it felt none of the goodness, love, or faithfulness of God, but only his wrath and disfavor. Since the Holy Spirit has impressed upon the heart that God is kind and gracious toward it, it believes that God can no more be angry, and grows so happy and so bold that, for God's sake, it performs and suffers everything possible to perform and to suffer.

text from a sermon on Pentecost by Martin Luther

Pentecost, Taddeo Gaddi,  1335-40, Staatliche Museen, Berlin


  1. Hello Norman. That text is one of my favorites.
    It sure kicks universalism to the curb.

    In Christ,
    from WELS church lady

  2. This was a very perceptive comment. Thank you for submitting it. You are on to something very important.

    Persons I know who are members of church bodies with a goal of inclusivity tell me that the major fear in all of this is universalism.