Tuesday, December 05, 2006


“It is evident that the only appropriate attitude of human beings toward God is doing God’s will. The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is to do it (see the ending of Matthew 7!). Only in doing does submission to the will of God happen. In doing the will of God, human beings completely relinquish any right of their own, nay justification of their own; in doing, they humbly subject themselves to the gracious judge. Holy Scripture insists so emphatically on our doing because it intends to deprive us of any self-justification before God that is grounded in our won knowledge of good and evil. It seeks to prevent human beings’ own deeds from being placed side by side with God’s deed, even if as thanksgiving or as sacrifice. Instead, Holy Scripture puts human beings completely within God’s doing, and subjects human doing completely to the doing of God. The mistake of the Pharisees was not their adamant insistence on the necessity of doing, but rather that they themselves did not get around to doing actual deeds. ‘They say and do not do it.’

“In demanding the deed, scripture actually does not point people to their own capacities but to Jesus Christ himself. ‘Without me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). This sentence must be understood in the strictest sense. There really is no doing without Jesus Christ. All the multiple activities that otherwise have the appearance of doing, all the countless tasks, are considered in Jesus’ judgment as if nothing had been done.”—Bonhoeffer, Ethics, pages 326-327

No comments: