Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Luther's Large Catechism in the Book of Concord:
The Holy Spirit Distributes the Treasure of the Gospel
He first leads us into His holy congregation, and places us in the bosom of the Church, whereby He preaches to us and brings us to Christ. For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain of ourselves.
Martin Luther, The Large Catechism, Article III, #37f. Concordia Triglotta, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.