Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Christians are people who never sin or feel sinful. Rather, because of their faith in Christ, God simply doesn’t attribute their sin to them. This teaching is comforting to those who have terrified consciences. For good reason, we often try to impress on people that sins are forgiven and that righteousness is attributed to believers for the sake of Christ. Similarly, Christians should not have anything to do with the law or with sin.
To the extent we are Christians, we stand above the law and sin. Christ is the Lord of the law. He is present and locked in our hearts, just as a precious stone is firmly mounted in a ring. When the law accuses us and sin terrifies us, all we need to do is look to Christ. When we have taken hold of him in faith, we have the victor over the law, sin, death, and the devil with us. Because Christ rules over all of these, we won’t be harmed.
That’s why a Christian, correctly defined, is free from all laws and subject to no one, either inwardly or outwardly. But notice that I said, “to the extent we are Christians,” not just to the extent we are human and have consciences. We are free to the extent we have consciences that are transformed and made rich through faith. This faith is a great and immeasurable treasure—as Paul says, an “indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), a gift that cannot be raised high enough or praised enough. It makes us children and heirs of God.
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.