Monday, September 27, 2010

The Force of Pronouns

To follow up on an earlier post quoting Martin Luther that "[t]the life of Christianity consists in possessive pronouns," considers these "watchwords" from the great Reformer:

Martin Luther, Watchwords For the Warfare of Life, pp. 57-58:

The Reflex Action of Faith.

The Force of Pronouns.

But weigh diligently every word of Paul, and especially mark well this pronoun "our;" for the effect altogether consisteth in the well-applying of pronouns, which we find very often in the Scriptures; wherein also there is ever some vehemency and power.

Therefore, generally it is an easy matter to magnify and amplify the benefit of Christ, namely that Christ was given for sins, but for other men's sins, which are worthy. But when it cometh to the putting to of this pronoun "our," there our weak nature and reason starteth back, and dare not come nigh unto God, nor promise to herself that so great a treasure shall be freely given unto her.

Wherefore these words, "Which loveth Me," are full of faith. And he who can utter this word "me," and apply it unto himself with a true and constant faith as Paul did, shall be a good disputer with Paul against the law.

For He delivered neither sheep, ox, gold nor silver, but even God Himself entirely and wholly "for me," even "for me," I say, a miserable and wretched sinner.

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