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Martin Luther on Faith and Work

Piper shares this quote from Luther, in which the reformer refutes the idea (prevalent then and prevalent today) that a “church vocation” is superior and more spiritual than a “secular vocation”:

It is pure invention that pope, bishops, priests and monks are to be called the “spiritual estate”; princes, lords, artisans and farmers the “temporal estate.” That is indeed a fine bit of lying and hypocrisy…. All Christians are truly of the “spiritual estate,” and there is among them no difference at all but that of office…. To make it still clearer. If a little group of pious Christian laymen were taken captive and set down in a wilderness, and had among them no priest consecrated by a bishop, and if there in the wilderness they were to agree in choosing one of themselves, married or unmarried, and were to charge him with the office of baptizing, saying mass, absolving and preaching, such a man would be as truly a priest as though all bishops and popes had consecrated him…. There is really no difference between laymen and priests, princes and bishops, “spirituals” and “temporals,” as they call them, except that of office and work…. A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and everyone by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another.

–John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, p. 133, emphasis mine

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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