Sunday, October 23, 2011

The importance of pronouns


"Who gave Himself for our sins." ~ Galatians 1:4
But how may we obtain remission of sin. Paul answereth that the man Jesus Christ hath given Himself for them that our sins are taken away by no other means than by the Son of God delivered unto death. With such gunshot and artillery must all other notions be destroyed, all doctrine of merit, works and superstitious ceremonies. For if our sins may be taken away by our own works, merit and satisfaction, what needed the Son of God to be given for them.  But seeing He was given for them it followeth that we cannot put them away ourselves. Again, by this sentence it is declared that our sins are so great, so infinite and invincible, that is is impossible for the whole world to satisfy for one of them. And surely the greatness of the ransom (namely Christ, the Son of God) declareth sufficiently that we can  neither satisfy for sin; nor have dominion over it. The force and power of sin is set forth, and amplified exeedingly by these words, "which gave Himself for our sins".
Weigh diligently every word of Paul, and mark well the pronoun "our"; for the effect consisteth in the well applying of the pronouns, which we find very often in the Scriptures, wherever there is some vehemency and power.  Thou wilt easily say and believe that Christ the Son of God was given for the sins of Peter and Paul and of other saints whom we account worthy of this grace; but it is a very hard thing, that thou, which judgeth thyself unworthy of this grace shouldst from thine heart say and believe that Christ was given for thine invincible, infinite and horrible sins. Therefore, without the pronoun it is an easy matter to amplify and magnify the benefits of Christ, that He was given for sins, but other men's sins which were worthy. But when it cometh to the putting of the pronoun "our", then our weak nature, and reason, starteth back, and dare not come nigh unto God, nor promise to herself that so great a treasure shall be freely given to her.
...
[Christ] is no caster down of the afflicted, but a raiser up of those that are fallen, a merciful reliever and comforter of the heavy and broken-hearted. Else would Paul lie in saying: "which gave Himself for our sins".
~ Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians

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