The Good Man

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
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The Good Man
I have often said, in order to speak and judge correctly about these matters, that we must carefully distinguish between a good man (what the philosophers call bonus vir) and a Christian. We also praise being a good man, and there is nothing more laudable on earth. It is God's gift just as much as sun and moon, grain and wine, and all creation. However, we do not mix and brew those things into each other, but let a good man have his praise before the world, and say: "A good man is certainly an excellent, precious man on earth, but he is not for that reason a Christian." He could even be a Turk or a heathen (as formerly some were highly renowned). It cannot be otherwise than that among so many wicked people a good man must at times be found. However, no matter how good he is, despite that goodness he still is and remains Adam's child, that is, an earthly man under sin and death.

From the Church Postil, sermon for Easter 4 on John 16:5-15 (Luther's Works 77:236)
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