Friday, October 21, 2011

Who will vanquish these two monsters, sin and conscience?


"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Galatians 1:3
These two words, grace and peace, comprehend in them whatsoever belongeth to Christianity. Grace releaseth sin, and peace makes the conscience quiet. The two fiends that torment us, are sin and conscience. But Christ hath vanquished these two monsters, and trodden them underfoot, both in this world, and that which is to come. This the world doth not know, and therefore can teach no certainty of the overcoming of sin, conscience, and death. Only Christians have this kind of doctrine, and are exercised and armed with it, to get victory against sin, despair and everlasting death. It is a kind of doctrine, neither proceeding from free will, nor invented by the reason or wisdom of man, but given from above. Moreover, these two words, grace and peace, do contain in them the whole sum of Christianity. Grace contained the remission of sins; peace a quiet and joyful conscience. For peace of conscience can never be had, unless sin be first forgiven. But sin is not forgiven for the fulfilling of the law; for no man is able to satisfy the law. The law doth rather show sin, accuse and terrify the conscience, declare the wrath of God, and drive to desperation. Much less is sin taken away by the works and inventions of men, but sin is rather increased by works. So there is no means to take away sin, but grace alone.
~ Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians

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