I am a sinner, but I am borne by his righteousness which is given to me. I am unclean, but his holiness is my sanctification, in which I ride gently. I am an ignorant fool, but his wisdom carries me forward. I deserve condemnation, but I am set free by his redemption. . . .
[I]n [this] we are lifted up not only above our evils, but even above our blessings, and we are set down in the midst of strange blessings gathered by the labors of another. . . . We are set down, I say, in Christ's righteousness, with which he himself is righteous, because we cling to that righteousness whereby he himself is acceptable to God, intercedes for us as our mediator, and gives himself wholly to us as our high priest and protector. Therefore, just as it is impossible for Christ with his righteousness not to please God, so it is impossible for us, with our faith clinging to his righteousness, not to please him. It is in this way that a Christian becomes almighty Lord of all, having all things and doing all things, wholly without sin.
I was stunned by the next sentence.
Even if he is in sins, these cannot do him harm; they are forgiven for the sake of the inexhaustible righteousness of Christ that removes all sins.
Really? No harm at all? Is this another of Luther's exaggerations for the sake of effect? Gloriously not. 'Inexhaustible' is just the right word. Listen to that sentence again.
Even if he is in sins, these cannot do him harm; they are forgiven for the sake of the inexhaustible righteousness of Christ that removes all sins. . . . He who does not believe this is like a deaf man hearing a story. He does not know Christ, neither does he understand what blessings are his nor how thye may be enjoyed.
--Martin Luther, "Fourteen Consolations," written to Elector Frederick the Wise when Frederick fell deathly sick, in LW 42:164-65