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We are the Lord's

Filed Under: Luther's Devotions

Whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Rom. 
14:8.

In the past much has been written and ingeniously devised
on the topic of preparing for death and the final judgment. But
it has only served to further confuse timid consciences. For
these comforters were not able to show anything of the comfort
to be found in the riches of grace and bliss in Christ. They
directed the people to oppose with their own works and good
life, death and God's judgment. In place of this delusion is
now evident the precious truth; he who knows the gospel,
goes on and performs his own work and duty in his
respective calling. He takes comfort in the fact that through
baptism he is engrafted into Christ; he receives absolution and
partakes of the Holy Supper for the strengthening of his faith,
commending his soul and body to Christ. Why should such a
one fear death? Though it comes at any time, in form of pestilence
or accident, it will always find the Christian ready and
well prepared, be he awake or asleep; for he is in Christ Jesus.

For all these things the Christian may well thank and bless
God, realizing that he has no further need, nor can he gain
anything better than he already has in the remission of sins, the
gift of the Holy Spirit and the faithful prosecution of his
calling; however, he should remain and daily grow in faith and
supplication. But we cannot hope to attain to another and
better doctrine, faith, Spirit, prayer, sacrament and reward than
had all the saints, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, or in fact than
has now every Christian that is baptized. Therefore I need
not idly spend time in trying to prepare people for death and
inspire them with courage by such commonplaces as recalling
and relating the innumerable daily accidents, ills and dangers
of this life. This method will not answer ; death will not thereby
be frightened away, nor will the fear of death be removed.
The gospel teaching is: Believe in Christ, pray and live in accordance
with God's Word, and then, when death overtakes or
attacks you, you will know that you are Christ the Lord's. We
Christians live upon this earth to the very end that we may
have assured comfort, salvation and victory over death and hell.

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