“In developing this contrast between passive righteousness — which expresses itself in faith — and active righteousness — which expresses itself in performing the deeds of God’s plan for human life — Luther was bringing to light a fundamental distinction that had escaped articulation by most theologians since the time of the apostles. This distinction recognizes and rests upon Christ’s observation that human life consists of two kinds of relationship, one with the author and creator of life, the other with all other creatures (Matt. 22:37-39). …Luther’s theology found its orientation in this distinction between the identity that God as creator gives to his creatures and the performance or activities with which that identity expresses itself within the relationships God has fashioned for human life.”
–Robert Kolb, “Luther on the Two Kinds of Righteousness,” Harvesting Martin Luther’s Reflections, 42, 43.