Where the Cross Is Found

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.
2 TIMOTHY 2:11-12
Where the Cross Is Found
When faith begins, God does not forsake it; He lays the holy cross on our backs to strengthen us and to make faith powerful in us. The holy Gospel is a powerful Word. Therefore it cannot do its work without trials, and only he who tastes it is aware that it has such power. Where suffering and the cross are found, there the Gospel can show and exercise its power. It is a Word of life. Therefore it must exercise all its power in death. In the absence of dying and death it can do nothing, and no one can become aware that it has such power and is stronger than sin and death. . .. God lays a cross on all believers in order that they may taste and prove the power of God—the power which they have taken hold of through faith. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). St. Peter does not say that we should feel Christ's sufferings in order to share them through faith. No, he wants to say: Christ suffered. Therefore bear in mind that you, too, suffer and are tried. When you suffer in this way, you have communion with the Lord Christ. For if we want to live with Him, we must also die with Him. If I want to sit with Him in His kingdom, I must also suffer with Him, as St. Paul often says (Romans 6:5; 2 Timothy 2:11).

From Sermons on 1 Peter (Luther's Works 30:126-27)
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