The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Christ is no new lawgiver. The Bible is more than just a book of do’s and don’ts. It is the precious book of salvation, as is Christ the precious Savior of the sinner.
Though Jesus does indeed accuse, convict, and condemn by the Law, so much more does He acquit, forgive, and save by means of the Gospel. He speaks words of sins forgiven to those who are troubled and laid low by what they have done, what they think, and by their own sinful wants and desires.
Come seeking Christ to be a judge of your sin, and so shall He be. The Law of God is too firm to be shaken, too fixed to be flexible, and too solid to be moved. You can’t undo what undoable. You can’t avoid what is unavoidable. The only thing you can do before the Law is plead for God to be merciful.
Should you not see yourself as God sees you, then you will fail to see your absolute dependence on God’s mercy in Christ. Should you not see yourself as God sees you according to His Law (The Ten Commandments), then you will surely not see your dire need for Jesus to be your Savior, and you will reject God’s abundant love towards you.
On the other hand, should you see yourself as God sees you, you will thus see yourself rightly. And listening to His Word, you will know how utterly lost your situation is of yourself. Nothing you do can change how God sees you. Nothing you change can alter your standing before God. If it were up to you, all would truly be lost!
Yet by God’s mercy, your standing before God is not up to you. By God’s mercy, how God sees you is not up to you.
Reject Christ and His Word and before God, there is only that accusing, convicting, and condemning Word of Law which will ring in your ears. But hear Christ and His blessed Word of forgiveness, life, and salvation, and there is only that acquitting, forgiving, and saving Word of the Gospel.
By God’s mercy your standing before God remains upon Christ. By God’s mercy, how God sees you is how God the Father sees His Son. Now, the Father’s words of His Son are also the Father’s words on you, “This is my son, in whom I am pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
In Christ, then, the Father finds you and saves you. In Christ, no longer are you lost, but found. And in Christ, your salvation is sure.
“If Christ gave Himself into death for our sins, then undoubtedly He is not a tormentor. He is not One who will cast clown the troubled, but One who will raise up the fallen and bring propitiation and consolation to the terrified. Otherwise Paul would be lying when he says “who gave Himself for our sins.” If I define Christ this way, I define Him correctly, grasp the authentic Christ, and truly make Him my own. I avoid all speculations about the Divine Majesty and take my stand in the humanity of Christ. There is no fear here; there is sheer sweetness, joy, and the like. This kindles a light that shows me the true knowledge of God, of myself, of all creatures, and of all the wickedness of the kingdom of the devil.” (Luther’s Lectures on Galatians, LW 26, p39).
Prayer: Lord, help me to remain ever closer to Jesus, believing His precious promise of forgiveness to me a sinner. Help me not falter in my faith, but all the more to seek Your abundant help in Christ my Savior. Amen.
Filed under: Confession & Absolution-The Office of the Keys, Devotions, Justification & Sanctification-The Christian Faith & Good Works, Law & Gospel-Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, Salvation-Soteriology | Tagged: Christ, forgiveness, God, salvation, sin, sinner |