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The True Use of the Law
by Martin Luther

It is no small matter then to understand rightly what the law is, and what is the true use and office thereof... we reject not the law and works, as our adversaries do falsely accuse us... we say that the law is good and profitable, but in his own proper use: which is first to bridle civil transgressions, and then to reveal and to increase spiritual transgressions. Wherefore the law is also a light, which sheweth and revealeth, not the grace of God, not righteousness and life; but sin,death, the wrath and judgement of God... the law, when it is in his true sense, doth nothing else but reveal sin, engender wrath, accuse and terrify men, so that it bringeth them to the very brink of desperation. This is the proper use of the law, and here it hath an end, and it ought to go no further.

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