Luther on Strong Sins: A Word to Preachers!

Martin Luther Life - 1 (with Melanchthon)This is Luther at his finest.  It shows two things clearly: 1) he understood Rome’s doctrines clearly [note the “imaginary” language below] and 2) he understood the gospel clearly.  This part of the letter is on the wall of my study; it is worth memorizing!

13. If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but
    the true mercy.  If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the
    true, not an imaginary sin.  God does not save those who are only
    imaginary sinners.  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.  We,
    however, says Peter (2 Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new
    heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.  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, even if we were to
    kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.  Do you think
    such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager
    sacrifice for our sins?  Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.”

Go here for the full text (Luther’s letter to Melanchthon in 1521).

Additional note: The above print with Luther and Melanchthon is for sale at 

shane lems

sunnyside, wa