About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” Genesis 38:24
God’s people often fall into sin. Their examples show us how God’s endless grace and mercy. He saves, not only those people who are faithful and moral like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but also those who are immoral like Judah, Tamar, Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. Therefore, none of us should be self-righteous about our own morality or wisdom. On the other hand, none of us should give up because of our sins. Scripture praises the examples of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At the same time, it describes the worst kinds of sinners. We see the virtues of the godliest people and the sins of the most wicked people – yet they all come from the same family.
These bad examples teach us about repentance, faith, and forgiveness for sins. None of us should brag about how good we are, but those who have fallen into sin shouldn’t gie either. The Bible records the mistakes, weaknesses, and horrible sins of God’s people. This is meant to uplift and comfort those who are depressed because of their sins. Sinners need to be told, “Don’t give up. God wants you to trust him and believe in his promises. He can forgive you, make you holy, and bless you just like he blessed Judah, Tamar and other sinners.” God doesn’t want us to depend on our own efforts or despair because of our sins. He wants us to trust entirely in his mercy and grace.
We would have no hope if Peter hadn’t denied Christ; if the apostles hadn’t taken offense at Christ; and if Moses, Aaron, and David hadn’t fallen into sin. God wants to comfort sinners with these examples. It’s as if he is saying to each of us, “If you have sinned, turn around. The door of grace is open to you.”
The Ninety-Five Theses is a text that everyone knows, most refer to, but few actually read, writes Stephen Nichols. Nevertheless, it is such a crucial text that it deserves to be read widely. Toward that end, Nichols has prepared this edition with an illuminating introduction, explanatory notes, and several illustrations. Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings. . ., writes Nichols. All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door.