Let us learn, therefore, to distinguish Christ as completely as possible from all works, whether good or evil; from all laws, whether divine or human; and from all distressed consciences. For Christ does not pertain to any of these. He does indeed pertain to sad consciences, not to trouble them even more but to raise them up again and to comfort them when they have been troubled. Therefore if Christ appears in the guise of a wrathful judge or lawgiver who demands an accounting of how we have spent our lives, we should know for certain that this is not really Christ but the devil. For Scripture portrays Christ as our Propitiator, Mediator, and Comforter. This is what He always is and remains; He cannot be untrue to His very nature. Therefore when the devil assumes the guise of Christ and argues with us this way: " At the urging of My Word you were obliged to do this, and you failed to do so; and you were obliged to avoid that, and you failed to do so. Therefore you should know that I shall exact punishment from you." this should not bother us at all; but we should immediately think: "Christ does not speak this way to despairing consciences. He does not add affliction to those who are afflicted. 'A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench' (Is. 42:3). To those who are rough He speaks roughly, but those who are in terror He invites most sweetly; 'Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden' (Matt.11:28); 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners' (Matt 9:13); 'Take heart, My son; your sins are forgiven ' (Matt. 9:2); 'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world ' (John 16:33); ' The Son of man came to see, and to save the lost' (Luke 19:10." Therefore we should be on our guard, lest the amazing skill and infinite wiles of Satan deceive us into mistaking the accuser and condemner for the Comforter and Savior, and thus losing the true Christ behind the mask of the false Christ, that is, of the devil, and making Him of no advantage to us.
Sermon: Judica (Lent 5) - 2018
4 hours ago