THE FREEDOM OF THE
THE HIDDEN GOD AND THE REVEALED GOD
FOR Luther the assertion that God is God implicitly includes the fact that God alone works all in all together with the accompanying foreknowledge (cf. p. 105).1 This determines not only man's outward but also his inner fate, his relationship to God in faith or unfaith, in obedience or disobedience. Here too man is completely in God's hands. Luther finds the biblical basis for this particularly in I Gorinthians 12:6, “God works all in all.” Luther expands the sense of this passage far beyond Paul's meaning in its original setting. It appears very frequently in Luther's thought.2
The Bible in addition bears witness, and experience confirms the fact, that men actually relate themselves differently to the word of God. Some are open to faith; others remain closed to it. Accordingly, the Bible expects human history to end in a twofold way. Not all will be blessed; and many will be lost. Luther can, in the context of his assertion that God works all in all, find the ultimate cause in God himself, in his intention, and in his working. This decision is not made by man's supposedly free will, but only by God's willing and working. He chooses some to be saved and rejects the others without an apparent reason for either choice. He gives faith to one through the working of His Spirit; and he refuses to give faith to others so that they are bound in their unbelief. Salvation and destruction thus result from God's previous decision and his corresponding twofold activity. God's choice is not based on the individual's condition; it establishes this condition.
1WA 18, 719; BOW, 218.
2Cf. the following statements in The Bondage of the Will:WA18, 614,
685, 709, 732;BOW,78, 170, 204, 236.