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Sin boldly

God tends to speak into my life from multiple vectors. Today it's about sin and repentance, about who we really are and how that's no surprise to Him. We're free not to fake it, and we aren't free as long as we do. I can own my sin because it's not the last word on who I am. That's reserved to Jesus, and His word is being made true in me every time I turn to Him.

Others say it better:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

—David (Psalm 51:17)

If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God's glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.

—Martin Luther (letter to Philip Melanchthon, 1 August 1521)

Comments

I just gotta know. What had Melanchthon done?
I don't know, but I've probably done worse.

Wow!

Wow! That's heavy man! I never really thought of sin in that way! Real Sin...Real Grace...Freedom! Don't worry about your sin...its gonna happen...you're gonna sin...God's gonna forgive...don't make sin, or not sinning, the focus of life, rather live in the abundance of God's awesome grace, and glorify, honor, praise Him and enjoy Him forever...in this life and in the next.

Re: Wow!

It's heady stuff, and tricky. This piece gets interpreted in many wrong directions, Some things to keep in mind:
  • Though it's from a respected theologian, this isn't Scripture. The Word trumps it every time.
  • This wasn't something Luther preached or wrote for publication; rather, it was in a personal letter. Powerful, yes, but certainly intended by the author for a specific context.
  • It's clear (from Scripture and from Luther) that the Christian isn't intended to accept sin as a given in our lives. But we aren't to avoid it in order to win God's acceptance; rather, we are free from it because we have God's acceptance through Jesus. We stop sinning not to avoid punishment, but to see the life of Christ made manifest in us.
With those cautions in mind, I echo your thoughts: "live in the abundance of God's awesome grace, and glorify, honor, praise Him and enjoy Him forever...in this life and in the next."

Re: Wow!

Amen! Thanks for clarifying that and I totally agree with you!

Re: Wow!

Thank you very much for clarifying that. I've been learning lately that, since I have died to sin and it is Christ who now lives in me, I am no longer a sinner. Yes, I still sin, but that is not my identity in the spiritual realm. So now that I am saved, I don't think I should "sin boldly".

Rather, as one who has Christ living through me, when my old nature slips through and sins, I should go before the Father, confess, and thank Him for His mercies that are new every morning. I should also talk it over with my accountability parner, and identify where it was that I didn't allow Christ to live through me.

I'm reading a book that I highly recommend for all Christians: The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, by Dan Stone and Greg Smith. That's where I'm learning a lot of this. :)