Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Reformation-Part 1

The fine folks at Stand to Reason provide an interesting background to Luther's Coat of Arms as an excellent representation of the Gospel of God's mercy He gives to men. They note:

The Reformation began with the question Martin Luther asked, “How do I obtain a gracious God?” That good news is familiar to us today but it wasn't so in Luther's time, and that is the significance of the Reformation. We know we can be reconciled with God through Jesus.
125px-Lutherrose.svgHere's how Luther described the meaning of the seal in a letter July 8, 1530:

“There is first to be a cross, black [and placed] in a heart, which should be of its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us.… Even though it is a black cross, [which] mortifies and [which] also should hurt us, yet it leaves the heart in its [natural] color [and] does not ruin nature; that is, [the cross] does not kill but keeps [man] alive.… Such a heart is to be in the midst of a white rose, to symbolize that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace; in a word it places the believer into a white joyful rose; for [this faith] does not give peace and joy as the world gives and, therefore, the rose is to be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and of all the angels. Such a rose is to be in a sky-blue field, [symbolizing] that such joy in the Spirit and in faith is a beginning of the future heavenly joy; it is already a part [of faith], and is grasped through hope, even though not yet manifest. And around this field is a golden ring, [symbolizing] that in heaven such blessedness lasts forever and has no end, and in addition is precious beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable and precious metal.”

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