Delighting in Assertions

Contention is sadly out of fashion in the large parts of the church today. Consequently, controversial doctrines are brushed aside for the sake of peace and unity. It is thought best never to be too sure of anything that might cause disagreement. Luther would not have fit in.


Luther wholeheartedly contended that to be a Christian is to believe the Bible’s assertions. This must be true for every preacher as he stands before an open Bible. Luther maintained:

imageTo take no pleasure in assertions is not the mark of a Christian heart; indeed, one must delight in assertions to be a Christian at all. . . . By “assertion” I mean staunchly holding your ground, stating your position, confessing it, defending it and persevering in it unvanquished. . . . Take the Apostle Paul—how often does he call for that “full assurance” which is, simply, an assertion of conscience, of the highest degree of certainty and conviction. . . . Take away assertions, and you take away Christianity.

Luther’s strong position regarding the inspiration of Scripture led him to believe that every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, recorded in Scripture, is authored by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the Bible’s assertions are the assertions of the Spirit. Thus, no biblical passage is to be doubted or minimized. Luther affirmed, “The Holy Spirit is no Skeptic, and the things He has written in our hearts are not doubts or opinions, but assertions—surer and more certain than sense and life itself.” For this reason, Luther maintained, the preacher cannot be a skeptic. Rather, as he stands in the pulpit, he must declare with strong confidence all that the Bible affirms.

—Steve Lawson, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (Reformation Trust, 2013), 105–106.

The Thirsty Theologian: Delighting in Assertions.