Today we pay a return visit to Deb Wolf who writes at the devotional blog Counting My Blessings. The header we gave today’s post is meant to be provocative. Deb’s title, below clarifies it a little. Be sure to click through (on the title below) and look around the blog. (Her version of today’s post has some graphics!)
You’ve heard the quote from Martin Luther, “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”
I woke up the other morning with the words “sin boldly” on my mind.
Not your typical opening thought for the day? Not mine either. I believe it was God’s nudge for me to write about this to start the discussion on—freedom to.
For two weeks I’ve looked at the freedom I have “from.” Now it’s time to look at the freedom I have “to.” Freedom to be who I am created to be. Freedom to plan my calendar. Freedom to love big. Freedom to live.
And part of living in this sinful world is well . . . sin.
So, when I woke up thinking “sin boldly” it seemed a good place to start. I am free to sin boldly.
You are too.
Wait a minute. What exactly does that mean?
I’ve read several articles from teachers whose students use Luther’s quote as an excuse to do as they please and disobey. Is that it?
Paul said, “Some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for Him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) Romans 3:5
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans 6:1–2
But you and I do continue to live in sin. No matter how hard we try, we’re going to sin.
I have times when my motives are far less than honorable. When my attitude stinks. When I’m tired and cranky and selfish. Times when I do the right thing because I’m supposed to not because I want to. Okay, that’s enough. I’m starting to squirm here.
Let’s take a look at Luther’s actual quote found in – A Letter from Luther to Melanchthon, written August 1, 1521
“Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him.” ~Martin Luther
“We will commit sins while we are here…”
Hmmm. Yes, we will.
I believe Luther’s point is this—we’re not going to get it right!
While we are here we will commit sins, but does that mean we should sit in a corner all day with our Bibles in our laps avoiding life and people to protect ourselves from sin.