Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lex semper accusat

Disputation Against Scolastic Theology #38.

There is no moral virtue without either pride or sorrow, that is, without sin.

Heidelberg Disputation #7:

The works of the righteous would be mortal sins if they would not be feared as mortal sins by the righteous themselves out of pious fear of God.

Heidelberg Disputation #8

By so much more are the works of man mortal sins when they are done without fear and in unadulterated, evil self-security.

Heidelberg Disputation #11

Arrogance cannot be avoided or true hope be present unless the judgment of condemnation is feared in every work.

Heidelberg Disputation #26

The law says, "do this", and it is never done.  Grace says, "believe in this, " and everything is already done.

St. Paul:

So I find this law at work:  "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God's law;  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.  Romans 7: 21-25.

The fact that the law always accuses is a necessary point towards realizing that we are free of the law.  If we could be righteous through the law, we would have to put our trust in it.

Seeing my sin, always brings me before my Savior.  And only there does the law no longer accuse.


Anonymous said...

You say it so succinctly, and you are absolutely right. This is precisely the point that so few ever realize. The law is so tempting and it pulls us in like a devious siren, offering hope but leading us to destruction. The law, indeed, always accuses. When we think that the law is complementing us, we deceive ourselves. The beauty of this, however, is that when we recognize this, we realize not only how completely we need a savior, but how great God's grace truly is. He doesn't help us fulfill the law; he does it for us!

Brigitte said...

Thanks, Anonymous. While on a superficial level we may be able to say: I did not do this evil, etc., on a different level this is never a justification because our motivations are always suspect if nothing else. We can never rest on having done the right thing or having avoided some evil. Our heart is a very stupid, adulterous, murderous pit, which surprises us at all kind of turns with the most horrid thoughts and affections. "Lord have mercy", is the enduring begging until the end. And we love him because he can love such as we are.