Monday, December 13, 2010

Luther on Friendship

In Luther's exposition of John 15.9 "As the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide in My love" he tells us why it is important to maintain the bond of friendship.

"Although we are moved to suspicion and displeasure, we should remember to beat these back and remember not to allow them to sever the bond of love and extinguish its fire; but we should cling firmly to our friendship in the face of them. And if perchance displeasure and disagreement arise, we should renew and improve our love and friendship. For to begin to love is not so great, but to remain in love (as Christ here says) is a real task and virtue. In the estate of matrimony many meet who at first are ready to eat each other for great love and passion, but later on they become deadly enemies. This also happens among Christian brethern. Probably for an insignificant reason the bond of love is severed, and those who ought to be most firmly knit and bound together are torn apart, so that they turn into the worst and bitterest enemies... This is the joy and delight of the devil, who strives for nothing else but to disturb the love among Christians and to arouse pure hatred and envy." (What Luther Says, p. 527)

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