The Purpose of God’s Gifts

Hence the purpose of God’s gifts is not the pleasure or the tyranny of those who have the gifts, but the lawful use should be directed toward the glory of God and the welfare and benefit of the neighbor. But although people receive God’s blessing, sovereignty, priesthood, power, strength, and intelligence, and have the efficient, formal, and material cause, they are not concerned about the final cause. But why are you a king? Why are you a prince, a priest, a father, or a mother? “In order that I may be blessed in this life,” you will say, “in order that I may indulge in pleasures, in order that I may gratify my lusts. I am learned and rich in order that I may get a great name and glory among men.” But then the rule of which you boast is completely done away with, because God does not want His blessings poured out for any other purpose than for His own glory, for the praise of Him who bestows them, and for the welfare of the church. The government is held in honor in order that it may benefit the state. Husband and wife are joined together in order that they may bring children into the world and rear them for the benefit of the home and the state. But the world cuts off the final cause in all the gifts of God.

LW, AE vol. 5, p. 112

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