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Martin Luther’s Three Masters (Session 3: Everyday Worship)


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Our lives are actually about the same things that the Bible’s about – honest human experience fits God’s words. Who you are, what you’re facing, and where you struggle fit in detail to what this God, whom the Bible reveals, is all about – there are touch-points everywhere in Scripture to your life. There is something you need today that only God can give you. Powlison covers Martin Luther’s three masters from Psalm 119: 1. Oratio (prayer); 2. Meditatio (meditation) – involves heart and speech; and 3. Tentatio (trials/affliction) – the catalyst that brings the others together. Luther summarizes these three by saying, “Other masters teach me by rote to speak parrot-like of heavenly things. But, by these three masters alone (oratio, meditation, and tentatio), I learn to speak with feeling and understanding.” For Luther, life experience was the touchstone that brought prayer and meditation to life – affliction was the place where prayer and meditation took on greater significance. Powlison ends with a look at the hymn Jesus, What a Friend of Sinners using the categories of sin, affliction, God, and faith.

(This audio is part 3 of a 5 part regional conference titled Everyday Worship: How God Brings the Bible to Life)