Skip to main content

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 me. Therefore whether you place before me my sins or on my good works, I do not care; for I put both of them out of sight and lean solely upon the freedom for which Christ has set me free. This I know to be useful to me! Therefore I shall not render Him useless to me, which is what would happen if I either presumed that I shall attain grace and eternal life because of my good works or despaired of my salvation because of my sins."

--Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Scrupulosity, pride, and how humility helps

C.S. Lewis wrote something which I think goes right to the core of religious obsessions: "Humility is not thinking less of oneself. It's about thinking of oneself less."

That is Law, and as always is the case with Law, it functions for our good only when, as Paul put it, we "use it lawfully." It can do damage if we misuse it.

Being obsessed with the self is pride. OCD will seek occasion to make us feel guilty about obsessing because it means thinking about ourselves. It will lose track of the fact that we obsess because of a neurological condition which can have spiritual ramifications, not a spiritual condition as such. And of course, it will lose all sight of the fact that the whole problem is that a person who is paying attention to how he or she is doing spiritually is fixated on himself (or herself) and isn't looking outward, to Jesus, Who is the only righteousness we have or ever will have, and to our neighbor.

But that's the whole point! We don&…