“Therefore let us arm our hearts with these and similar statements of Scripture so that, when the devil accuses us by saying: You are a sinner; therefore you are damned, we can reply: The very fact that you say I am a sinner makes me want to be just and saved. Nay, you will be damned, says the devil. Indeed not, I reply, for I take refuge in Christ, who gave Himself for my sins. Therefore you will accomplish nothing, Satan, by trying to frighten me by setting the greatness of my sins before me and thus seducing me to sadness, doubt, despair, hatred, contempt, and blasphemy of God. Indeed, by calling me a sinner you are supplying me with weapons against yourself so that I can slay and destroy you with your own sword; for Christ died for sinners.
Furthermore, you yourself proclaim the glory of God to me; you remind me of God's paternal love for me, a miserable and lost sinner; for He so loved the world that He gave His Son (John 3:16). Again, whenever you throw up to me that I am a sinner, you revive in my memory the blessing of Christ, my Redeemer, on whose shoulders, and not on mine, lie all my sins; for "the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" and "for the transgression of His people was He stricken" (Is. 53:6-8). Therefore when you throw up to me that I am a sinner, you are not terrifying me; you are comforting me beyond measure."
Recently, my friend's blogs has made me dig deeper into the life and writings of Martin Luther. The blog entry that began my search is Catholics and Lutherans...Unite?
I am not an apologist for Luther by any stretch of the imagination! But, I want to better understand the context of some of his controversial quotes. One website that offers a look into such contexts is hosted by James Swan
Luther had some abominable things to say about Jews, and he's accountable for his statements. But some of his other statements and beliefs glorify God -- for example, the quote at the beginning of this entry, from What Luther Says, 3:1303.
(Photo credit: www.grahamdefense.org/Images/feather_quill.jpg)