Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Kinds of Righteousness

"We set forth two worlds, as it were, one of them heavenly and the other earthly.  Into these we place these two kinds of righteousness, which are distinct and separated from each other.  The righteousness of the law is earthly and deals with earthly things; by it we perform good works ... But the righteousness (of the gospel) is heavenly and passive.  We do not have it of ourselves; we receive it from heaven.  We do not perform it; we accept it by faith, through which we ascend beyond all laws and works."  Luther, "Lectures on Galatians"

"This is our theology, by which we teach a precise distinction between these two kinds of righteousness, the active and the passive, so that morality and faith, works and grace, secular society and religion may not be confused.  Both are necessary, but both must be kept within their limits."  Luther, "Lectures on Galatians"

Thank you, Luther, for clearing away some cobwebs for this reader.
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