Posted on May 8th, 2014
Dr. Luther, in a 1531 sermon on Jubilate Sunday, reminds us that we are always to trust in the Word of God and not human writings.
Those are shameful deceivers who, putting their confidence in pope, emperor, councils, and church fathers, declare that the Christian church cannot err; what the church has decreed, we must accept. Instead you should remember the saying: To err is human! Right here, in this Gospel lesson [for Jubilate, John 16:16-23], the apostles have drifted into wrong thinking about the greatest of all truths: the passion and resurrection of Christ. That’s why i cannot trust the fathers, councils, or churchdoms, unless they can show that they really do have God’s Word. What the church speaks apart from and beyond God’s Word—even if it quotes the holy fathers or councils—there you must say: That’s the flesh of the apostles, who also at times spoke according to human reason, without the Holy Spirit…. I, too, must confess that many of the things I say apart from my preaching office, at table, or elsewhere, are not the words of God…. Only the Holy Scriptures can be held to be without error. All else, no matter how holy and erudite, cannot be claimed to be true in what is said if it is not attested by the Scriptures.