Luther on “pure gospel”

“The world maintains, as do many people who do not understand, that we should not fight so hard about an article and thus trample on Christian love; rather, although we disagree on one small point, if we agree on everything else, we should give in and overlook the difference in order to preserve brotherly love and Christian unity.

No, my dear man, do not commend peace and unity to me when thereby God’s Word is lost….The Word was given unto us for eternal life and not to further outward peace and harmony….Therefore, do not talk to me about love and friendship if that means breaking with the Word or the faith, for the Gospel does not say love brings eternal life, God’s grace, and all heavenly treasures, but instead ‘the Word’” (Luther’s comments on 2 Cor 13:8; WA 34/II:387).

“Doctrine directs us and shows us the way to heaven ….We can be saved without love… but not without pure doctrine…. The devil would dearly love to corrupt and overthrow our doctrine; that is why he attacks us so cleverly with this specious argument about not offending against love and the harmony among churches” (LW 27:41-42).

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