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Luther for Easter II – Misericordia Domini

by pastorjuhl ~ April 10th, 2013

In the third place, Christ stands preeminent, above all others, in the affirmation of Peter, quoted from Isaiah 53,9: “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

You may draw your own conclusions as to the eminence of such a one; for certainly there is to be found no other human being who has not at some time sinned in word or deed. “If any man stumbleth not in word, the same is a perfect man,” says James 3, 2. But where is this perfect man, and what is his name? It is this Christ, he alone of all, James should have added. For Peter excludes all other individuals, in one class, saying, “Ye were going astray like sheep.” And later on (ch. 3, 18) he tells us plainly, “Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous.” This statement leaves no man innocent of sin, either in word or deed; and in word and deed is included man’s whole life. Speech and action are associated in various Scripture references; as in Psalm 34, 13-14: “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good.” But in speech is the greatest liability to error. In teaching, counseling, admonishing, consoling and censuring, and in confessing the truth, no one indeed will be found so perfect in his utterances as never to commit a blunder.

But Christ is the one perfect example in this respect. It is impossible for saints to attain to his faultlessness. Surely no man–unless he desires to be a liar and a true disciple of the devil instead of a child of God and a faithful Christian–will be presumptuous enough to put himself on an equality with Christ, will dare boast himself without sin in word and act. Christ alone has suffered, the righteous for the unrighteous; that prerogative can honorably and truthfully be ascribed only to Christ the Lord, and is his perpetually. No man is just and innocent in word and act. All must confess their sufferings, of whatever nature, to be the result of their own sins, and well deserved chastisement. For the fact of having escaped the eternal wrath, condemnation and punishment of God, they must thank this just one alone, he who, being himself blameless, voluntarily suffered to make satisfaction for the unrighteous, and appeased God’s wrath. The sufferings of all saints, then, must be rated far below those of Christ the Lord. The saints must clothe and adorn themselves with his innocence, and with the entire Christian Church pray, “Forgive us our trespasses”; and they must confess the article, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”

First Church Postil on 1 Peter 2:21-25

1 Response to Luther for Easter II – Misericordia Domini

  1. Charles James

    Every day that I live I become more conscious of my own sinfulness. I see my propensity to sin. Thanks for the sermon – Christ alone is the sinless one and it is through him that we find forgiveness.

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