Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Smalcald Articles

I love them.  I actually think they may be my favorite part of the Book of Concord - they are Luther, thinking he is dying, just laying everything out.

And I love the fact that the third section deals with the things we could discuss, if we actually found reasonable people.  Sometimes I understand that observation all to well.

At any rate - note the following from III,III

39] Of this repentance John preaches, and afterwards Christ in the Gospel, and we also. By this [preaching of] repentance we dash to the ground the Pope and everything that is built upon our good works. For all is built upon a rotten and vain foundation, which is called a good work or law, even though no good work is there, but only wicked works, and no one does the Law (as Christ, John 7:19, says), but all transgress it. Therefore the building [that is raised upon it] is nothing but falsehood and hypocrisy, even [in the part] where it is most holy and beautiful.

40] And in Christians this repentance continues until death, because, through the entire life it contends with sin remaining in the flesh, as Paul, Rom. 7:14-25, [shows] testifies that he wars with the law in his members, etc.; and that, not by his own powers, but by the gift of the Holy Ghost that follows the remission of sins. This gift daily cleanses and sweeps out the remaining sins, and works so as to render man truly pure and holy.

I love just how honest this is.  Nothing is built upon my work.  Rather it is all on God.  It is the Holy Spirit who works forgiveness and who renders me holy.  Just fantastic comfort.

Is it so bad or impious to wish to live with this great comfort?  Knowing that even my best works are but sin, and knowing that on account of Christ I am forgiven, given life, made pure and holy?

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