Paul Zahl on the Focus of Christ’s Saving Work

Christ’s soteriology [i.e. saving work] is focused and exclusive…  It is exclusive to sinners.  This is because “those who are well have no need of a physician” (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31).  The non-inclusive and non-universal voice is not a slap at other religions, such as Buddhism and Islam.  The non-inclusive factor is instead a barrier to the non-needy people, or better, to the needy people who do not realize they are needy.

Paul Zahl “The First Christian

Luther on Psalm 51:7

“It is He [Jesus] who bore the sins of the world.  This is the one satisfaction; this is the one washing, by which we are saved.  And the basis of salvation is that when you hear this, you should not be unbelieving toward divine revelation but believe it.  The fact that a new life should follow does not belong to satisfaction, but to the obedience you owe.  Because the Holy Spirit arouses this in us, we cannot claim any merit of ours from it to reconcile God and to expiate sins which, we are taught, have already been expiated through Jesus Christ.

Only that satisfaction is true which is called and is satisfaction of faith, namely, that Christ Jesus bore your sins.

If this satisfaction stands alone and pure without your flesh, then you may zealously exercise charity, serve your calling, and do everything that the Word of God permits you to undertake.  This obedience is pleasing and acceptable to God because it is done with the right aim, namely, of obeying God and not setting up your own satisfaction.

LW Vol. 12 

 

 

Luther on Psalm 51:3

Psalm 51:3  3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

“God is the God of the humble, the afflicted, and the poor who acknowledge that they are sinners and fear God in such a way that they hope still more in His mercy…  If, therefore, you acknowledge that you have sin, if you tremble, if you are troubled by a feeling of God’s wrath and by horror of God’s judgment and of hell, then have confidence.  You are the one with whom God wants to speak, to whom God wants to show His mercy, and whom God wants to save.”

LW Vol. 12 

 

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

a Word of Hope

In light of Robin William’s passing, I thought I’d offer a word of hope to those suffering from depression.  The following is taken from Kathryn Greene-McCreight’s work “Darkness Is My Only Companion.”  As one who suffers from severe depression and bi-polar disorder she seeks to offer a Christian response to mental illness. Continue reading

Salvation & Mental Illness

“Our salvation is something Jesus wrought on the cross, not in the interiority of our personality.  When our personality dissolves with mental illness, this does not mean that God regards our soul any differently from when we are mentally healthy.”

Kathryn Greene-McCreight “Darkness is My Only Companion: a Christian Response to Mental Illness.”