When Salvation Begins

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
ROMANS 10:17
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When Salvation Begins
Our salvation begins, not with any work of ours but with the hearing of the Word of life. Hence also the Law precedes, to humble, to reveal sin, and to teach that we can do nothing by our own strength. Romans 4:15: "The Law brings wrath," and brings it so completely that the people not only do not do the Law but will not even hear it, for it kills them. For this reason they seek another Word, one which can make us alive before we do any works, as you have seen here. Through the hearing of the Word the Holy Spirit is given; by faith He purifies the heart. Romans 10:17: "Faith comes from what is heard," not indeed to all who hear but to whom God wills. For the Spirit blows where He wills (John 3:8), not where we will. But when the Holy Spirit is received by faith, then we are justified by Him without any work of our own, only by the gift of God, and we experience peace and a good conscience toward God (Romans 5:1), and joyfully and confidently we cry: "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). Now there is no more fear or slavish flight from the face of the wrath of God; there is childlike access to God through grace, in which we stand and boast (Romans 5:2-3).

From Lectures on Deuteronomy (Luther's Works 9:184)
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