With Gunshot and Artillery

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“…who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”- Galatians 1:4

“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 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 it 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 exceedingly by these words, ‘which gave Himself for our sins.'”- Commentary on Galatians, Martin Luther, 11.

Luther knows how to start off a Monday morning. I absolutely love his comparison of the the truth of Jesus Christ to  artillery and gunshot. Do we not, as humans, build up brittle notions of goodness and righteousness to be achieved by our own wit, toil, and passion? But at once, in a moment of booming glory, Jesus Christ comes in swiftly, to shatter and burst the walls and cities we have built of our own fancy. Our sins are too invincible, they are too strong, they are too powerful. They have too much of a foothold on our lives, and without Divine aid, we are helpless. And yet Divine Aid has come! The Divine Artillery that has broken apart our notions of what is possible for us to attain has indeed come to attain it for us; a righteousness that can stand the gaze of Almighty God. What is invincible to us is conquerable to Him. What is too strong for us is dwarfed in comparison to His mighty strength. What is too powerful for us is but weakness to Him. And though our sins gain footholds within our hearts, He thwarts and removes them with ease. What a great thing for us to remember today! Luther says, “The force and power of sin is set forth,” but the force and power of Christ has also been set forth, and His force and power is the light which dispells bitter darkness to the uttermost. What sins plague us today? What sins lie to us and tell us we must submit to them, attempting time and time again to enslave and interrupt our peace in Christ? Let us be diligent today to hit them with the very weapon that has been given to us, the truth of Jesus Christ.

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