A Jagged Contention: The Word of Promise

“As we have said, God never has dealt, and never does deal, with mankind at any time otherwise than by the word of promise. Neither can we, on our part, ever have to do with God otherwise than through faith in His word and promise. He does not hold works in high esteem, nor does he need them. We use them in dealing with one another and with our own selves. But He does require that we should regard Him as faithful to His promises; we should pray without ceasing, and worship Him in faith, hope, and love. In this way He is glorified in us, since it is not of us who run, but of Him who shows mercy, and who promises and gives, that we possess and receive all good things. Lo, this is the true worship and service of God which we ought to offer in the mass. But when the words of the promise are not handed on, how can faith be exercised? And, without faith, what of hope? What of love? And without faith, hope, and love, what of service? Thus, without any doubt, all the priests and monks today, together with the bishops and all their other superiors, are idolaters and in a state of peril on account of this ignorance, abuse, and mockery of the mass, i.e, sacrament, i.e., promise of God.”

– Martin Luther, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, in Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings, ed. John Dillenberger, pg. 277


What sort of teachings and practices have crept into our modern churches which get in the way of or undermine the word of promise?

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