When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” Genesis 50:15
The Bible tells us how easy it was for Simeon, Levi, and Joseph’s other brothers to sin. But it also tells us how difficult it was for them to be reconciled with Joseph again and be healed. This is the reason that many people who don’t hear the message of God’s kindness are driven to despair. Some even commit suicide by drowning or hanging themselves. They can’t handle the power of sin they feel working inside them. When “sin is crouching at your door” (Genesis 4:7), people neglect it. Then it takes hold, and one offense leads to the next – each more outrageous than the last. When sin is stirred to life, the precious blood of God’s Son is the costly medicine needed to remove it.
We need to stay away from sin if we can. But if we have fallen into sin, we must learn how to get up again and regain a firm faith. These very struggles show us what it means to really believe.
We need to realize that sin is a horrible evil. This doesn’t seem to be true when we’re committing sin. We enjoy it while we are doing it. But after God’s laws make us aware of our sin, we realize that sin is hell itself and far more powerful than heaven or earth. But a heart burdened by sin can say, “Even though I have committed many sins, ‘God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him’” (John3:17). Without this comfort, we would have no remedy or defense against sin and its sting.
Edited by James C. Galvin
Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:
Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther
Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.