Posts tagged “sin

Hurt to the core of the heart

Posted on May 31st, 2017

A true Christian knows that he is a sinner. His sin distresses him enormously and it hurts him to the core of his heart that he can still see and feel his sinfulness. A false Christian, however, neither ‘has’ nor sees any sin in himself. If you come across some one like this, then this person is an anti-christian, a fraud. -Martin Luther, Luther Brevier, p168

Sermo Dei: Trinity 19

Posted on October 7th, 2013

Our leadership team for Immanuel’s Growing in Grace campaign has slotted these three weeks for sermons and Bible studies on spiritual renewal. But what does spiritual even mean? Everything is “spiritual” these days. People say they’re “spiritual, not religious.” Anything that seems ponderous, meditative, or mysterious is regarded as “spiritual.” And then especially, spiritual is separated off from the physical, the tangible, the touchable – the stuff of your actual life. None of that fits God’s definition of what is spiritual. In the beginning, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, was at work in the creation of the world – physical stuff like wood, and flesh. Where the Spirit is, there is life. When the Spirit departs,…

Sermo Dei: Trinity 16

Posted on October 3rd, 2013

On sin and the conscience. 1 Kings 17:17-24. Preached at Immanuel on September 15, 2013. “What have you against me?” the woman cried. This woman, the widow of Zarephath, we heard about last week. She was dying, along with her son. The food had run out. The land suffered drought. God was absent, as He so often seems. But through the prophet Elijah, God intervened. He kept the woman alive, and her son. But for what? Now illness has overtaken her son. He dies. Did God save her for this? To be a wife with no husband, a mother with no son? So she cries. “What have you against me, O man of God?” Is she angry? I don’t think so. She sounds scared to me,…

Torn from my heart

Posted on September 10th, 2013

Words of great comfort from Dr. Luther: If you believe that it is really true that Christ has suffered for you and saved you, then you can say “If Christ has my sin, that means it is no longer mine simply because Christ has it.” He has torn the sin from my heart and from my conscience where I had a register of sins in which the following was written: “You have been an adulterer, a murderer and a thief.” However, as I have the Word: “Christ has taken my sin upon Himself”, you will therefore not find my sins in any register or book neither in heaven nor on earth. They have all been written onto the Son of God; that is the…

The power of a secret sin

Posted on June 4th, 2013

Abby Johnson, writing about the bondage her abortion placed her in, has much to teach us on the stranglehold unconfessed sin has on our life. Once it had taken hold within me, my secret had the power to shape and influence my reasoning, my perspective, my conscience. Years later, I would discover that the box in my soul wasn’t sealed as well as I’d thought. It was releasing undetectable yet poisonous fumes that wafted through my soul in silence and contaminated my heart. Over time, this secret did to me the same thing I did in my relationship with the parents who’d given birth to me and nurtured, supported, and loved me with their whole hearts. It hid itself, just as I was now…

What is the primal sin?

Posted on May 30th, 2013

Russell Morre on pride: [Pride] is the primal sin because no other sin is possible without believing that some good gift of God is mine and mine alone to use for my purposes, for my own kingdom and glory. Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ (p. 143)

Jacob bears the sins of his sons

Posted on March 21st, 2013

When Jacob confronts his sons after their slaughter of the Shechemites (in response to the defiling of Dinah), the sons are unrepentant. This too, Luther observes, is part of the trial of the godly: bearing with the sins of others. Hear how the sons reply to their father, the high and mighty rascals! They do not acknowledge their sin; they are not sorry for the unjust slaughter and violence but defend it. It is as though they meant to say: “We have acted justly by killing the Shechemites because their atrocious sins deserve severe punishments.” Accordingly, they amplify the rape of Dinah in a dramatic manner, even though Shechem wished to have her as his wife and not as a harlot. Nor do they…

Our cruel master

Posted on February 16th, 2013

Mordecai and all the Jews put ashes on in response to the cruelty of the Persians. We also have a cruel master. We have enslaved ourselves to sin, given in to passions and to good desires corrupted. They control us like animals, rutting in heat, without shame or knowledge. Sin ruins the good things of God. It causes us to be dissatisfied with what He has given. David Petersen, sermon for Ash Wednesday Morning, in Thy Kingdom Come, p13

An image naked enough

Posted on September 12th, 2012

There is a kind of helplessness that a man engaged in pornography exhibits. He often speaks of it in terms of a “struggle” or an “addiction.” Now both of those terms are accurate, I believe, but they distance a person from his sin in a soul-decaying manner. Pornography is not just an addiction; it is occultism. The man who sits upstairs viewing pornography while his wife chauffeurs the kids to soccer practice is not some unusual “pervert”; he is (like his forefather Adam) seeking the mystery of the universe apart from Christ. That’s the reason the one picture, stored in his memory, of that naked woman will never be enough for him. He will never be able to be satisfied because he will never…

Remember feebleness to avoid smugness

Posted on May 17th, 2012

Why are so many examples of sinful behavior among the saints recorded in Scripture? In discussing the tragic account of incest between Lot’s daughters and their father, Luther answers, God wants us to be well aware of our feebleness, lest we lapse into smugness.