Then We Become His Gods

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Original article posted here.

“Then we become His gods”

What, then, is the grace of God? It is this, that from sheer mercy, for the sake of Christ, who is our beloved Bishop and Mediator, God forgives all our sins. He abates all His anger, leads us by faith from idolatry and error to truth. And the Holy Spirit purifies our hearts, enlightens, sanctifies, and justifies us, chooses us as children and heirs, adorns us with His gifts, redeems and protects us from the power of the devil, and finally gives us eternal life and blessedness. And yet He also supplies this transitory life with everything needful, gives and preserves it, through the service and co-operation of all creatures of heaven and earth. The whole world could not deserve even the tiniest of these gifts …… If this is true——and it undeniably is——then it follows

that our works, wisdom, and holiness are nothing before God. For if it is God’’s love, then it cannot be our merit. And if it is our merit, then it is not God’’s love (Rom. 11:6). …… Why do they all fight this teaching of God’’s grace and call it heresy? Because they do not want to see their own teaching and works despised and discarded. That God’’s grace gives us so much, as I said above, they are willing to accept; but that their own doings should be nothing and only pure and simple grace should count before God, why, that has to be heresy. They want to have a hand in the game and through free will do so much that they will earn God’’s grace and buy it from Him, together with all the aforementioned goods. Then not the love of God but our own merit achieves grace. Then we are the workmen who lay the cornerstone on which God then builds His grace and love, so that He must praise, thank, and adore us. Then we become His gods instead of the other way around.  (LW 14:25)