The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Love & faith

The relationship between Christ and the believer, Luther taught, is like marriage

Faith "unites the soul with Christ as a bride is united with her bridegroom," wrote Martin Luther in The Freedom of a Christian, a devotional pamphlet published in 1520. The treatise today is the best known of Luther's writings, beyond his catechism, and the most useful introduction to the spiritual life.

With this marriage metaphor, Luther offers a vivid image of the loving relationship between Christ and the believer. But he also warns us not to take it too literally, explaining that "human marriages are but poor examples of this one true marriage" between Christ and the believer.

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