April 26

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Here Peter builds upon a passage from the book of Proverbs: “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs” (Proverbs 10:12).  And this is what Peter means: If you don’t restrain your sinful nature and desires, you will easily become angry with others.  You will be unable to forgive others easily.  So make sure you curb your evil desires.  Then you will be able to love and forgive others, for love covers sin.

Some interpret this verse as if it goes against faith.  They may say, “You claim that faith alone makes a person godly and that no one can get rid of sin through their works.  Then why do Solomon and Peter say that love covers sin?”  You can answer them this way: “Solomon is saying whoever hates another person doesn’t stop quarreling and bickering.  But wherever love is, it covers sin by gladly forgiving it.  Where there is anger, you will find a defiant person who won’t reconcile and remains full of hatred.  On the other hand, people full of love don’t become angry no matter how much someone tries to offend them.  They cover all these sins and pretend not to see them.  Though they can overlook their neighbor’s sin, they cannot make God overlook it.  No one can cover his or her own sin before God.  Only faith can do that.  But with our love, we can cover our neighbor’s sin.  And just as God covers our sins with his love if we believe, so we also should cover our neighbor’s sin.  Peter says that we should love one another so that one person can cover the sin of another.  Love doesn’t cover just one, two, or three sins, but a whole multitude of sins.”

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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