Ray Ortlund is a regular reminder to me of the centrality of grace. Two of his recent posts speak directly to the theme of my last two posts (one, two). First, in words I have heard him use elsewhere Ortlund presses the implications of being under grace and not law. He writes:
You are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
If I am not under grace but under law, then the burning issue in my life moment by moment is, Am I sinning?
If I am not under law but under grace, then the burning issue in my life moment by moment is, Am I forgiven?
Then in another post he cites this powerful excerpt from Luther, who is so helpful on this point. This is good preaching to contemplate and take deeply into our souls:
“God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We however, says Peter (2 Peter 3:13), are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins?”
Martin Luther, writing to Philip Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.