“Christ Dwells Only In Sinners”

Therefore, my dear brother, learn Christ and him crucified. Learn to pray to him and, despairing of yourself, say, ‘Thou, Lord Jesus, art my righteousness, but I am thy sin. Thou hast taken upon thyself what is mine and hast given to me what is thine. Thou has taken upon thyself what thou wast not and hast given to me what I was not.’ Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner, or to be one. For Christ dwells only in sinners. On this account he descended from heaven, where he dwelt among the righteous, to dwell among sinners. Meditate on this love of his and you will see his sweet consolation. For why was it necessary for him to die if we can obtain a good conscience by our works and afflictions? Accordingly you will find peace only in him and only when you despair of yourself and your own works. Besides, you will learn from him that just as he has received you, so he has made your sins his own and has made his righteousness yours (Luther, Letters of Spiritual Counsel [trans., ed., Tappert], 110).

Timotheos

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One thought on ““Christ Dwells Only In Sinners”

  1. This is a quite delicate and very intense quote by Luther. Over time I have come to respect it. Thank you for having the courage to print it in context. It’s terrific.
    BTW, I’m at brokenbelievers.com.

    Blessings on your work.

    ybic, Bryan

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