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Sunday, December 14, 2003

My SiteMeter lets me see what links, including search words, lead people to my blog.


To random Googlers searching for strange and vile things who happen to find themselves here due to the appearance of certain words, wholly unrelated to one another and found in entirely different contexts, within this collection of thoughts that is my blog:

Alas for you, Googlers! The saying is not, as many erroneously hold, "if you must sin, sin boldly." Oh yes, this is everyone's favorite Martin Luther quote... quoted not only out of context but also incorrectly.

What Luther actually said was, "Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide (crede) et gaude in Christo, qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi," and he wrote it in a letter to Philip Melanchthon in 1521. Here's a bit of context for you:

"If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God's glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly--you too are a mighty sinner."

I guess "sin boldly" is just the part that everyone remembers best. License to sin? Says the wisdom of the Apostle whom Luther studied and loved, "May it never be!" Luther, along with the great history of God's Church, always insisted on good works and a holy life in imitation of Christ as a necessary manifestation of faith.

Simul justus et peccator... but please, folks, the goal is still to go and sin no more, eh?

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