The following words come from Martin Luther’s sermon: THE METHOD AND FRUITS OF JUSTIFICATION. This was written over 450 years ago. If we put aside the quaintness of the old English translation, the message is still potent and direct. In western counties we may not suffer the direct persecution of Luther’s day, but today, the mockery of the gospel, particularly by militant atheists grows by the day. Luther was standing against those who believed in their own works as the means of salvation. We stand against those who deny God altogether. His call to stand and persevere is still pertinent. Luther declares:
Every one by faith is certain of this salvation; but we ought to have care and fear that we stand and persevere, trusting in the Lord, and not in our own strength. When those of the race of Cain hear faith treated of in this manner, they marvel at our madness, as it seems to them. God turn us from this way, say they, that we should affirm ourselves holy and godly; far be this arrogance and rashness from us: we are miserable sinners; we should be mad, if we should arrogate holiness to ourselves. Thus they mock at true faith, and count such doctrine as this execrable error; and thus try to extinguish the Gospel. These are they that deny the faith of Christ, and persecute it throughout the whole world; of whom Paul speaks: “In the latter times many shall depart from the faith,” etc., for we see by these means that true faith lies everywhere opprest; it is not preached, but commonly disallowed and condemned.
(2011-03-24). The World’s Great Sermons, Volume 01 Basil to Calvin (Kindle Locations 1060-1066). . Kindle Edition.