Reading Spufford in Light of Ferguson

I came across this quote while researching for my sermon this week.  Concerning the crisis in Fergeson, it’s a humbling reminder to all of us (myself included) who are pointing fingers in our hearts and on social media.

Wherever the line is drawn between good and evil, between acceptable and unacceptable, between kind and cruel, between clean and dirty, we’re always going to be voting on both sides of it, despite ourselves.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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

Steve Brown “Don’t Waste Your Sin”

If you’ve followed this blog for any time you already know I’m a huge fan of Steve Brown.  I came across the following quote at the conclusion of his radio broadcast the other week.  It’s about sexual sin, but I think you can broaden it to include whatever it is you struggle with.  Here it is:

Don’t waste your sin.  You can waste anything in the world, but don’t waste your sin.  It’s there to send you to the one who will love you no matter, no matter what.  And that love becomes the definer that’s even greater than your lust.

For the full broadcast head over to Key Life.

Luther on Psalm 51:5

Psalm 51:5   5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

“The human seed, this mass from which I was formed, is totally corrupt with faults and sins.  The material itself is faulty.  The clay, so to speak, out of which this vessel began to be formed is damnable…

So we are not sinners because we commit this or that sin, but we commit them because we are sinners first.

That is, a bad tree and bad seed also bring forth bad fruit, and from a bad root only a bad tree can grow…”

LW Vol. 12 

Luther on Psalm 51:4

Psalm 51:4  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

“Our whole nature is punishable by death and sin…  Thus the Word of God–that is, both the Law and the Gospel, or promise–proves with clear and certain arguments that we are sinners and are saved by grace alone.  If God promises life, it follows that we are under death.  If He promises forgiveness of sins, it follows that sins dominate and possess us…  Both the threats and the promises all show the same thing…

When sins are thus revealed by the Word, two different kinds of men manifest themselves.  One kin justifies God and by a humble confession agrees to His denunciation of sin; the other kind condemns God and call Him a liar when He denounces sin…

Believe that you are a sinner, whom God wants to have as His son if you confess that you are lost.

With this confession, by which you confound yourself and open your wounds to the physician, you glorify God and provoke Him to His truly divine work of healing your sick mind like a physician…

Whoever confesses this way that he has sinned against God alone, has a God who justifies.

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