October 25

John 8:34-36

“Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’” vss. 34, 36

Martin Luther was deeply aware of his own sin! Every day he battled to get the upper hand and be free of this hideous slavery. He used every tool that the Church provided, praying regularly, daily confessing his sins, and even abusing his body with penitential acts. But nothing worked–and he remained addicted to sin! And then, as he continued to study and teach, the Holy Spirit intervened, a great truth began to emerge from the pages of scripture, and he had his “come to Jesus” realization, i.e. it’s the Son who makes us free from sin, and not our own understanding or effort! That insight paved the way for the 95 Theses, the Small Catechism, and every other blessing of the Reformation. And it’s that great Truth that gives us real freedom even now! Like Luther, and every other human, we too are sin addicts and on our own we can do nothing about it. The harder we try, the worse it gets! But when we confess our powerlessness and surrender our precious will, the Holy Spirit brings forgiveness and will fill our lives with the fruits of righteousness. Will we still sin? Of course, Luther certainly did! But like him we learn to sin boldly, trusting that the Spirit can even use sinners to bring love, joy, and peace to our hurting world.

Thought for the Day: How is my goodness tinged by sin?

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