17 September 2011

The Only Source of Rest

Luther on Galatians 3:6--
A Christian is both righteous and a sinner, holy and profane, an enemy of God and yet a child of God.

Those who do not know the true manner of justification will not admit such opposites. But we must teach and comfort the afflicted sinner, saying,

"Brother, it is not possible for you to become so righteous in this life that you feel no sin at all. Your body cannot be clear like the sun, without spot or blemish. You have wrinkles and spots—and yet you are holy. You will say, 'How can I be holy when I have and feel sin in me?' Your feeling and acknowledging your sin is a good sign. Give thanks to God, and do not despair. It is one step toward health when the sick person acknowledges his infirmity. 'But how can I be set free from sin?' Run to Christ, the physician, who heals those who are broken in heart and saves sinners. Do not follow the judgment of reason, which tells you that he is angry with sinners. Kill reason, and believe in Christ. If you believe, you are righteous. . . . The sin that remains in you is not laid to your charge but is pardoned for the sake of Christ, in whom you believe and who is perfectly just. His righteousness is your righteousness, and your sin is his sin."
--Martin Luther, Galatians (Crossway, 1998), 134

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