Luther on Psalm 51:2

Psalm 51:2  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

“Once a Christian is righteous by faith and has accepted the forgiveness of sins, he should not be so smug, as though he were pure of all sins.  For only then does he face the constant battle with the remnants of sin, from which the prophet here wants to be cleansed.

He is righteous and holy by an alien or foreign holiness

that is, he is righteous by the mercy and grace of God.  This mercy and grace is not something human; it is not some sort of disposition or quality of the heart.  It is a divine blessing, given us through the true knowledge of the Gospel, when we know or believe that our sin has been forgiven us through the grace and merit of Christ and when we hope for steadfast love and abundant mercy for Christ’s sake…

It consists completely in the indulgence of another and is a pure gift of God, who shows mercy and favor for Christ’s sake…

Therefore, the Christian is not formally righteous, he is not righteous according to substance or quality…  He is righteous according to his relationship to something: namely, only in respect to divine grace and the free forgiveness of sins…”

LW Vol. 12 

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Luther on Psalm 51:1

Just last week I finished Luther’s “Selections from the Psalms” and  felt compelled to share his thoughts on Psalm 51.  If you’ve been following this blog for some time you’ll know that I did the same for Luther’s thoughts on Psalm 23 as well.  Without further ado here’s Luther’s take on verse 1 of this beautiful Psalm.

Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

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Luther on Psalm 51:17

Below is Luther’s thoughts on Psalm 51:17, “Psalm 51:17   The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ”  Came across them last night, thought I’d share them with you:

“God is not the kind of God who wants to frighten the frightened or break the broken even more, but one who loves the broken, afflicted, and humble, who expects and hears the sighs and voices of the wretched…  In his true form God is a God who loves the afflicted, has mercy upon the humbled, forgives the fallen, and revives the drooping.  How can any more pleasant picture be painted of God.”

Luther’s exposition of Psalm 51

How I comfort people. .. :D