Christ’s words from the cross are these: “Do I look like I want you to grovel and crawl for forgiveness and find Me merciful? With this spit and sweat and blood streaking My face do I look like My right to be honored matters to Me more that all else?”
Do we think our sins are a special case that needs something more than this? Is the person and work of the Lord Jesus not grand enough? I do understand the emotional wrestle many people engage in with sins that are “ever before me”; I do! But John says, “If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.”
1 John 3:16-23.
Are we afraid of being arrogant if we feel assured that all is well with us if indeed we are in the Lord Jesus? It’s clear we need to be humble and not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12) but should we be timid about the person and work of Jesus the Lord? Timid about the truth of the central truths of the gospel of God that is about His Holy Son (Romans 1:1-4)? Humility about HIM and about the GOSPEL about HIM should have no place in us.
Martin Luther, a man on fire (though no stranger to depression over his own inner world) and rarely cautious, had plenty to say about Sin and sins. His war against Roman Catholic doctrine and the worst face of that Church’s moral corruption helped to shape the unbridled expression of his sincerely held convictions. Not many can receive all Luther said but one can’t help but be stunned by the chasm that exists between his kind of preaching/teaching and what one hears today from the clamored-after speakers on the media. Here’s a section from his commentary on Galatians 1:4.
“But be it far from us that we should here humble ourselves, since they would take from us our glory, even God himself, that hath created us, and given us all things, and Jesus Christ, who hath redeemed us with his blood. Let this be then the conclusion of all together , that we will suffer our goods to vanish, be taken away, our name, our life, and all that we have; but the gospel, our faith, Jesus Christ, we will never suffer to be wrested from us. And cursed be that humility which here abases and submits itself: nay, rather, let every Christian man here be proud and spare not, except he will deny Christ. Wherefore, God assists me, my forehead shall be harder than all men’s foreheads… Yea, I am glad even with all my heart, in this point to seem rebellious and obstinate. And here I confess that I am and ever will be stout and stern and will not one inch give place to any creature.”
(I borrowed that from my book Behold Your God. Doesn’t Luther there just demand to be quoted?!)