Without Law and Compulsion

It is therefore just as absurd and stupid when they say: The righteous person should do good works, as when they say: God should do good; the sun should shine; the pear tree should bear pears; three plus seven should be ten, since all of this follows naturally of necessity because of the thing itself and the result which is determined.

Or, that I may state it still more clearly and plainly: all this follows without the command and order of a single law, naturally and willingly, without force or compulsion. For that for which each thing has been created, that it does without law and compulsion. The sun shines by nature, without being told to; the pear tree bears pears of itself, without being compelled to, etc. Therefore one may not command a righteous person to do good works, for he does them without any command or compulsion because he is a new creation and a good tree. Because we human beings do not do as we should and what we should after the first creation when Adam and Eve were created in righteousness and innocence, for this reason God gave the law—that he might point out to us and convince us by means of it that we now are not God’s but the devil’s work.

– Martin Luther (St. Louis Ed. 22:445-446. Sadly, this is not in the American Edition Volume 55.)


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