Friday, October 18, 2013

Comfort For The Afflicted Sinner

Contrariwise, we teach and comfort the afflicted sinner after this manner: Brother, it is not possible for thee to become so righteous in this life, that thou shouldst feel no sin at all, that thy body should be clean like the sun, without spot or blemish: but thou hast yet wrinkles and spots, and yet art thou holy notwithstanding. But thou wilt say: How can I be holy when I have and feel sin in me? 

The Pool of Bethesda, 1736 WIlliam Hogarth
I answer: In that thou dost feel and acknowledge thy sin, it is a good token: give thanks unto God, and despair not. It is one step to health, when the sick man doth acknowledge and confess his infirmity. But how shall I be delivered from sin? Run to Christ, the physician, who healeth them that are broken in heart, and saveth sinners. If thou believe, thou art righteous, because thou givest glory unto God, that He is almighty, merciful, true, etc., thou justifiest and praisest God. Thou yieldest unto Him His divinity, and whatsoever else belongeth unto Him: and the sin which remaineth in thee is not laid to thy charge, but is pardoned for Christ's sake, in whom thou believest, who is perfectly just: whose righteousness is thy righteousness, and thy sin He took upon Himself.

~ Martin Luther Commentary on Galatians

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