The Office of the Holy Spirit

The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside.
PSALM 14:2-3
The Office of the Holy Spirit
We draw the universal conclusion that without the Holy Spirit and without grace man can do nothing but sin and so goes on endlessly from sin to sin. . .. Statements of Holy Scripture prove the same thing. Or is not Psalm 14:2-3 general enough? . . . Paul repeats this in Romans 3:10. Likewise Psalm 116:11 states in general: "Every human being is a liar"; and Paul (Romans 11:32): "God has shut up all under sin." All these passages are very general and most emphatically conclude in our favor that without the Holy Spirit, whom Christ alone bestows, man can do nothing else than err and sin. For this reason Christ also declares in the Gospel (John 15:5): "I am the vine, you are the branches; apart from Me you can do nothing. Without Me you are like branches that are cut off, dry, dead, and ready for the fire." This is also the reason why it is the office of the Holy Spirit to reprove the world (John 16:8), namely, that He might recall the world to repentance and to a recognition of this fault.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 2:40)
February 27
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