The Quotable Dr. Luther

“When I look at myself I cannot see how I can be saved. When I look at Jesus I cannot see how I can be lost.” Those words come from Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation.

When we honestly look at ourselves how can we possibly see that we could be saved? Sins pile up very quickly. How will we ever be good enough? How can we avoid God’s wrath?

As a young man Luther was in despair because he knew that God’s law told him to do many things but he and everyone else he knew was never able to do them.

Notice Luther says, “when I look at myself” I cannot see how I can be saved. Many people base their confidence for salvation by looking at others. “I am not like so and so. I have never killed anyone.” Do people really think that if they just stay above average outwardly and don’t do anything really bad that God will overlook all their faults and welcome them into heaven?

Then, as Luther says, when we look at Jesus we also see how we cannot be lost. Jesus is the almighty, eternal Son of God yet he willingly took on our human flesh so that he could suffer and die on the cross for our sins. Death could not hold him so he rose on the third day to bring us victory over death: “Because I live, you also will live,” Jesus says in John 14.19.

Since Jesus gave his life for us there is no way he is going to let anyone separate us from him: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)

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