Friday, February 1, 2008
Large Catechism, Third Commandment (Daily in the Devil's Kingdom)--Martin Luther
"Let me tell you this, even though you know God's Word perfectly and are already a master in all things: you are daily in the devil's kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). He ceases neither day nor night to sneak up on you and to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against these three commandments and all the commandments. Therefore, you must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle and the Word does not make a sound, the devil breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware (Matthew 13:24-30). On the other hand, the Word is so effective that whenever is it seriously contemplated, heard, and used, it is bound never to be without fruit (Isaiah 55:11; Mark 4:20). It always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8). For these words are not lazy or dead, but are creative, living words (Hebrews 4:12). And even though no other interest or necessity moves us, this truth ought to urge everyone to the Word, because thereby the devil is put to flight and driven away (James 4:7)."