Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Invincible Sins and Our Merciful Reliever

"Who gave Himself for our sins..." [Galatians 1:4]

"...Again by this sentence, it is declared that our sins are so great, so infinite and invincible, that it is impossible for the whole world to satisfy for one of them. And surely the greatness of the ransom (namely, Christ the Son of God) declareth sufficiently that we can neither satisfy for sin; nor have dominion over it. The force and power of sin is set forth, and amplified exceedingly by these words, 'which gave Himself for our sins'."


"Let us learn here of Paul to fully and truly believe that Christ was given, not for feigned sins, nor for small, but for great and huge sins; not for few but for many; not for conquered sins (for no man can overcome the smallest sin to put it away) but for invincible sins."


"Hold this fast, and suffer not thyself to be drawn away by any means from this most sweet definition of Christ, which rejoiceth the very angels of heaven: that is to say, that Christ is no Moses, no lawgiver, no tyrant, but a mediator of sins, a free giver of grace, righteousness, and life: who gave Himself not for our merits, righteousness, and godly life, but for our sins.

"These things, as touching the words, we know well enough, and can talk of them. But in practice, and in the conflict, when the Devil goeth about to deface Christ, and to pluck the word of grace out of our hearts, we find that we do not yet know them well and as we should do. He that at such a time of trial could define Christ truly, and could magnify Him and behold Him as his most sweet Saviour, and High Priest, and not as a strait judge, this man hath overcome all evils, and were already in the Kingdom of Heaven. But this to do in the conflict, is of all things most hard. I speak this by experience.

"This, then, is the cause why I do so earnestly call upon you to learn the true and proper definition of Christ out of these words, "which gave Himself for our sins," if He gave Himself to death for our sins, then undoubtedly He is no tyrant, or judge which will condemn us for our sins.

"He is no caster-down of the afflicted, but a raiser-up of those that are fallen, a merciful reliever and comforter of the heavy and broken-hearted. Else would Paul lie in saying 'which gave Himself for our sins'.

"If I define Christ thus, I define Him rightly, and take hold of the true Christ, and possess Him indeed, and here I let pass all curious speculations touching the Divine Majesty, and stay myself in the humanity of Christ, and so I learn truly to know the will of God. Here then is no fear, but all together sweetness, joy, peace of conscience, and such-like. And here withal is a light opened, which showeth me the true knowledge of God, of myself, of all creatures, and of all the iniquity of the Devil's Kingdom."

-Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, Translated by Erasmus Middleton

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