August 19

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  John 3:17

No one should run from Christ or form God the Father.  God wants us to stay close to him in the same way that chicks gather under the wings of a hen.  Just as children cling to their parents, we also should find refuge in Christ and the heavenly Father.

The world is already judged because of original sin, the fall, and the laws of Moses, for it was led astray by the devil.  The laws of Moses, our consciences, and our hearts already judge us.  Paul says that our own consciences accuse and condemn us (Romans 2:15).  No additional judge is necessary.  The world has always been full of judgment and death.  It has never been worthy of love.  That’s why no other judge is needed.  But the Son was sent to silence these thoughts.

In the past, no one saw the glory of this passage or took these words to heart, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  Christ is not a judge.  He is a mediator, helper, comforter, and throne of mercy.  He is our bishop, brother, and intercessor.  He is both our gift and our helper in times of need.  We have no reason to runaway from him.  But we still have wounded hearts that have not yet healed.  We, by nature, tend to distrust God.  Yet all of us should study this passage again, as a young child would.  We must learn that Christ didn’t come to judge the world.

Martin Luther’s Here I Stand (Audio CD)

In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.

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