“To be a Christian is to have received the Gospel and believe in it. This belief brings the forgiveness of sins and God’s grace. It came alone from the Holy Spirit, which works through the Word, without our help or assistance. It is God’s work alone, and not with any power from us or our free will.
It just endures and lets itself be prepared and shaped by the Holy Spirit, like clay or loam is made into a vessel by the potter. Such a person, who knows and believes in Christ, believes that through Him sins are forgiven, that eternal life and everlasting bliss come from pure grace and mercy, without being earned by us and without any good works or being deserving of it, this person will certainly be tortured and tormented by the world.
But the Holy Spirit will stand by him, give him comfort and strengthen him, and give him a joyful heart so that he may disdain everything, for He will not abandon us.”
–Martin Luther, Off the Record With Martin Luther: An Original Translation of the Table Talks, trans. and ed. Charles Daudert (Kalamazoo, MI: Hansa-Hewlett, 2009), entry no. 3352a & b, p. 342-343.