A Life of Trials and Sufferings

I bear on my body the marks of' Jesus.
A Life of Trials and Sufferings
The wrath of God is necessary because of "the body of sin" spoken of in Rom. 6:6 and because of "the law of my members" (Romans 7:23). For it is necessary "the body of sin" and the law of the flesh or the members that "be destroyed" (Romans 6:6) since it is impossible for "anything unclean to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Revelation 21:27). But such destruction comes about through crosses, sufferings, deaths, and disgraces. Therefore God kills in order to make alive; He humiliates in order to exalt, etc. And this is what the apostle glories in when he says that he knows nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him not glorified but crucified (see 1 Corinthians 2:2). He bears on his body the marks of his Lord (see Galatians 6:17). For to bear Christ crucified in oneself is to live a life full of trials and sufferings, and for this reason He becomes for carnal men "a sign that is spoken against" (Luke 2:34). Therefore one should resolve to receive with open arms every trial, even death itself, with praise and joy, just as one should receive Christ Himself. For it is true that Christ always comes in the form He assumed when He "emptied Himself" of the form of God (see Philippians 2:7). Thus James 1:2 says: "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials." And in Isaiah 48:9 we read: "For the sake of My praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off." And in Psalm 18:3: "I will call upon the Lord, and I will be saved from my enemies."

From Lectures on Hebrews (Luther's Works 29:130)
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