Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Sin Boldly!"

Martin Luther wrote the famous words, "Sin boldly" in a letter to his younger colleague Philip Melanchthon on August 1, 1521.

Luther struggled greatly with a strong and abiding sense of unworthiness before God. He was acutely aware of his sin, and even more acutely aware of God's holiness.

Through his intensive study of the Scriptures and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, Luther came to understand that the only way sinful men and women can be right with a holy God is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. He discovered that God can't love us any more than He already does, and that even though we sin we can't make Him love us any less.

Melanchthon was possibly more sensitive about his unworthiness than his mentor. Luther recognized it and wrote, "Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly...Pray boldly - for you are a mighty sinner."

In other words, we can be so paralyzed by our sin that we overlook or discount the amazing power of God's grace.


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