July 28

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  John 1:29

From this passage, we learn that all people have been plunged into sin by the devil and that only the Lamb can lead us out.  Our unbelief isn’t Jesus’ fault. The guilt is ours.  If we don’t believe, then we’re stuck in our own sins.  In short, the Lamb of God has carried the sins of the world.

You should believe and confess this all of your life.  You may think, “Yes, I know that Jesus carried the sins of Peter, Paul, and other saints.  They were holy people.  But who knows if Christ will carry my sins, too?  If only I were as good as Peter or Paul.”  Can’t you hear what John is saying?  “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  You must admit that you too are a part of this world.  You were born of a human mother and father – you aren’t a cow or pig!  It follows, then, that your sins of Peter and Paul are paid for.  You are unable to pay for your own sins.  They couldn’t pay for their own sins either.  There are no exceptions.

Therefore, don’t listen to your own thoughts.  Listen to God’s Word.  It promises forgiveness of sins to anyone who believes that the Lamb carried the sins of the whole world.  Did you hear that?  The Lamb didn’t miss any of it.   He carried all the sins of the world from the beginning of time.  Therefore, he carried your sins too, and he offers his grace to you.

Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional

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.

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