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Showing posts from August, 2010

Plead Christ, not your own merits

Let us remember this [the righteousness apart from works] well in our personal trials, when the devil accuses and terrifies our conscience to bring it to the point of despair. He is the father of lies (Jn 8:44) and the enemy of Christian freedom. At every single moment, therefore, he torments us with false terrors, so that when this freedom has been lost, the conscience is in continual fear and feels guilt and terrors.

I say, when that great dragon, the ancient serpent, the devil, the deceiver of the whole world, who accuses our brethren day and night before God (Rev 12:9-10) comes to you and accuses you not only of failing to do anything good but of transgressing against the law of God, say: 'You are troubling me with the memory of past sins; in addition, you are telling me that I have not done anything good. This means nothing to me. For if I either trusted in my performance of good works or despaired because I failed to perform them, in either case Christ would be of no avail to…

Freedom in Christ

Reason does not see how great a matter this [Christian freedom] is (Gal 5:1); but when it is spiritually considered, it is enormous and infinite. No one can grasp with any thought what a great gift it is to have, in place of the Law, sin, death, and a wrathful God, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, eternal life, and a God who is perpetually propitious and full of favor toward us. The papists and all hypocrites boast that they also have the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, a propitious God, etc.; and they also lay claim to freedom. They also promise this to others, but all these things are empty and uncertain. Truly these things are a service of corruption. In temptation they vanish in a moment, because they depend on human works and satisfactions, not on the Word of God, nor on Christ. Therefore it is impossible for them to know what freedom from sin, etc., really is.

By contrast, our freedom has Christ as its foundation, who is the eternal High Priest, who is at the right ha…

Thoughts on the Unpardonable Sin

Since people in the Group found this helpful in dealing with the Unforgivable Sin, I thought I'd post it here.

1. Blasphemy, by its very definition, must be spoken out
loud. "Blasphemous thoughts" are thoughts that would be blasphemy if uttered. No matter how nasty a thought may be, thoughts cannot be blasphemy unless they are uttered. Even if the thoughts somehow could be blasphemy,...

2..... Jesus says in the very statement in which He speaks of the Unpardonable Sin that ALL blasphemies will be forgiven, whatever their content- but that THE blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be. It is obvious from this that since THE blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not included in "ALL blasphemies," it must be something very different from merely saying something nasty about God (again, thinking something nasty about God, if it is not uttered out loud, cannot be blasphemy in the first place). It is unique.

3. Since Jesus says categorically that He will never, under a…

The Christian and the Law

Just as the wrath of God cannot terrify us since Christ has set us free from it (Gal 5:1), so the law, sin, etc., cannot accuse and condemn us. Even though the law accuses us and sin terrifies us, they still cannot plunge us into despair, because faith, the victor over the world (1Jn 5:4), quickly declares: 'Those things have nothing to do with me, for Christ has set me free from them.' So also death, which is the most powerful and horrible thing in the world, lies conquered in our conscience through this freedom of the Spirit. Therefore the greatness of Christian freedom should be carefully measured and pondered. These words 'freedom from the wrath of God, from the law, sin, death, etc.,' are easy to say. But to feel the greatness of this freedom and to apply its results to oneself in a struggle, in the agony of conscience, and in practice, is more difficult than anyone can say. "Therefore one's spirit must be trained as a remedy against spiritual depression,…