Luther wrote, every Christian is a priest, who freely performs good works in service of his or her neighbor and in glorification of God. “Christ has made it possible for us, provided we believe in him, to be not only his brethren, co-heirs, and fellow-kings, but also his fellow-priests,” Luther wrote. And thus, in imitation of Christ, we freely serve our neighbors, offering instruction, charity, prayer, admonition and sacrifice. We abide by the law of God so far as we are able so that others may see our good work and be similarly impelled to seek God’s grace. We freely discipline and drive ourselves to do as much good as we are able, not so that we may be saved but so that others may be served. We live so far as we are able the life of the Beatitudes, the virtues of poverty, meekness, humility, mercy and peacefulness. “A man does not live for himself alone,” Luther wrote, “he lives only for others.” The precise nature of our priestly service to others depends upon our gifts and upon the vocation in which God calls us to use them. n60 But we are all to serve freely and fully as God’s priests. Such are the paradoxes of human nature, Luther believed. We are at once sinners and saints; we are at once lords and servants. We can do nothing good; we can do nothing but good. (From John Witte Jr. BETWEEN SANCTITY AND DEPRAVITY: LAW AND HUMAN NATURE IN MARTIN LUTHER’S TWO KINGDOMS?
We do good not to be saved but so that others may be served. Wow.