Nov 7, 2010


Luther's free offer and universally sufficient atonement makes faith the obedience which causes the death of Christ to be effectual on our behalf. This implies that we are justified on the ground (or because) of our faith, rather than simply declared righteous in our conscience through faith. Luther's teaching on the atonement is contrary to the gospel of God's grace.

Luther taught - Christ offers His righteousness to all
"Christ, Like Adam, Affected All Men Isaiah here uses the word “many” for the word “all,” after the manner of Paul in Rom. 5:15. The thought there is: One has sinned (Adam), One is righteous (Christ), and many are made righteous. There is no difference between “many” and “all.” The righteousness of Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord and Savior, is so great that it could justify innumerable worlds. “He ‘shall justify many,” says he, that is to say, all. It should, therefore, be understood of all, because He offers His righteousness to all, and all who believe in Christ obtain it. (W 40 III, 738 f–E op ex 23, 523 f – SL 6, 720). Cited from: Ewald M. Plass, What Luther Says (Saint Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), 2:601. [Note: this lecture was first delivered in 1544, but only later put into print in 1550.]

Luther taught - Christ offers a kiss of love to those who perish in hell
"In this way the Holy Spirit with one word gathers up the whole world with all its wisdom, righteousness, merits, services, adorations, and chastisements, and transposes it all into the Sons kiss. “If you kiss the Son, good. If not, you will perish in the way. For it will come to pass,” He says, “that the Son will at last be angry. Now He offers you a kiss so that He may receive your kiss in turn. Truly He embraces the whole human race with extraordinary love. For He comes in our flesh not to judge or condemn, but in order to kiss us and show us the love with which He surrounds us. If, then, you will not kiss Him in return, no religion, no righteousness, no wisdom will save you. You will simply remain under His wrath and perish in His anger." Martin Luther, “Selected Psalms,” in Luther’s Works, 12:89.

Luther taught - Christ died sufficiently for those who perish in hell
"...Christ did not effectively give His ransom for Judas and the Jews, He certainly gave it sufficiently. It is rather that they did not accept it. Therefore it should not be denied that it was given, but rather it should be denied that the benefit of the propitiation was accepted. Again, putting “man” in the accusative in place of in the nominative is more a guess than an explanation. Again, construing the “wise” here as the wise of this world does not seem to make sense, since there follows immediately the senseless and the fool shall perish together. For that reason the former explanation seems better." Martin Luther, “First Lectures on the Psalms,” in Luther’s Works 10:228.

Luther taught - That he [Luther] had power to redeem infants by baptizing them
"At the present time, thanks to the boundless kindness of God, we have the most glorious honor of Christ, as is clear from our sermons and the whole ministry. Look at Baptism, the Lords Supper, absolution, and the Gospel. These great gifts of the Holy Spirit should be praised and proclaimed by all, and in them God, who has given such power to men (cf. Matt. 9:8), should be acknowledged and praised. I am not the patriarch Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. But observe what I do. I take an infant, and by baptizing it I redeem it from death, the devil, and sins, and translate it from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. This a pastor of the church does, and in an emergency any Christian does so. Therefore it is meet and right that we should wonder at and proclaim such great mercy and goodness of God. He blesses us with an eternal and spiritual blessing, so that the devil is compelled to flee when he sees an infant being baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For here I am not destroying the kingdom of the Turk or of Augustus or of the king of the Persians. No, I am destroying the kingdom of the prince and god of this world." Martin Luther, “Lectures on Genesis,” in Luther’s Works, 8:182.

Common Redemptive Grace Refuted - John Brine
"[Brine informs a friend about Baxterian errors] Sir, the Opinion of a Day, or Season of Grace, appointed to Men in common, supposes that God loves them, that he willed their Happiness, and has provided for it; that Christ died for them to save them, and that the Holy Spirit works upon them with the same gracious Design; but thro’ their Folly and Obstinacy, God’s Love is turned into Hatred, his Purpose to save them, is changed into a Resolution to damn them, that Christ died in vain with Respect to them, that the Holy Spirit is disappointed of the End he proposed to himself, in his benign Influences upon them. These are not, Sir, you well know the Doctrines of the free Grace of God, which this Writer [the Baxterian writer that Brine is correcting] pretends to have an Approbation of. They are as contrary to those Doctrines, as Light is to Darkness: you see that under a Pretence of maintaining the Opinion of evangelical Repentance and special Faith being the Duties of Sinners, he is for conducting us into rank Arminianism." -John Brine

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions