“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides.”
Martin Luther, From the Melanchthon Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521
Luther is essentially communicating the things that are real to us. He takes it down to bare wood. We are given an understanding of this World, an a sense of what we can expect from the hearts of all those who surround us. Sin is the issue, and we need to accept that from our brothers and sisters. We should not be surprised when someone we love intentionally blindsides us with their disobedience to God.
Dramatic words, ‘sin boldly’. We instantly see this as a way to sin, without restraint. And let’s face it, sinning is fun. At times perhaps, even a whole lot more pleasure than walking out godliness. Luther recognized the inevitably of sin. As fallen people we should accept that fallenness. We sin, it’s what we do, and we do that very well. And the Lord knows that.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
1 John 1:8
Our ‘religious’ hearts often go into this ‘deception mode.’ We endeavor not give in to the viciousness of sin. “We will overcome!” And yet we are so infected with sin, and rebellion that we try to minimize the problem. If the truth be known, we are sick, infested and condemned. There are no ‘quick fixes’ for us. Evil runs rampant. It is the ultimate epidemic.
Looking at our salvation
“Let your trust in Christ be more boldly still.’ The Lord Jesus has decisively interrupted our lives. He has wholesale entered into our darkness and sin. In a way it’s like a ‘roadside’ bomb, and needs a direct intervention of a specialist to disarm it. As people who are completely saturated with sin, we need a third party to step-in and to save us from all the embedded darkness.
Often there is a sense of boldness when we completely understand our depravity. We ‘know’ our sin. For the most part can grasp its deadliness, and its infectiousness. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to bring us to this transparent moment when we can see the darkness and harm we’ve caused. The fact is, that we are to accept this, it’s all true. We have been this evil and awful to those around us. Most believers would curiously admit that ‘they have sinned more as a believer’ than before they were first saved.
Luther declares a significant point when he tells us ‘to believe in Christ more boldly still’. Simply, our ‘sin’ awareness must never exceed our Christ awareness. We must have a stronger sense of Jesus’ victory then our sinfulness. Our confidence, which has taken a hit on our sinfulness, now shouts ‘hallelujah’ at His victory.
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”
1 John 1:8-10, NLT
“You need not fear because sin still plagues you – instead rejoice that by God’s grace you are on a journey toward eternal life and sin will finally fade into the distant past.”
“May it be the real me, that seeks and finds the real You.”
Further info, and source: http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Luther-Sin-Boldly.html