Sins happen daily. Often they seem to happen continually!!! The Psalmist said, “There is none who do good!” What are we to do when we sin? Repent!! What does this mean? The world, and most other Christians say, “Turn from your sinful ways.” I agree, yet who does the turning?
The answer to that question is the same as who moves us to faith! For if we do not repent we cannot be saved, likewise we cannot be saved without faith in the crucified Christ! It is the Spirit who works repentance. What of continual, or “pet” sins? Yes, our flesh is very strong, and can still over take the strongest of faithful Christian! Look at Peter he was called Satan! Such words of law can only kill the person who sinned!
Yes! That is the point; the sinner must die, for without the flesh being dead we cannot live. As St. Paul said, “For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God.” Yet, being dead the Spirit makes us alive! He does this through His forgiveness. But where is the repentance? Where is the turning from the old ways and walking in the new?
Repentance simply put is gift receiving! If one does not repent of his sins he cannot receive forgiveness. A living breathing Adam has much to say about repentance and his share in doing it! Thus he lives in the law and dies in the law, but a dead Adam has no say and can only receive the forgiveness, and live!!! And thus he dies through the Law, and lives to God. Turning from the old ways? Can’t get much more turned around than dead! That seems pretty much the end of walking how you used to do it. Walking in the new? Well, were Baptized. Made alive to walk with God.
We may stumble, and stumble again, but God has killed the Old Man! The law does it! If we sin again, we died to that and receive forgiveness. No one can take that away! Not even the Devil himself. Yet, if he tries to bind your conscience and say, “You aren’t acting repentant enough! You know full well you’ll do it again!” Say as Luther would bid us, “Dost thou indeed not understand that I will now neither know nor hear of any law? For we are now within a sphere and on ground, where there is no question as to what I shall do or leave undone. I already know well enough, that I have not done, nor do I do, what the law requires; but here is the question, how may I acquire a gracious God and the forgiveness of sins, and how shall I learn the article of faith concerning Christ? Here I will abide in the arms of Christ and hang about His neck, and creep into His Baptism, God grant it, and let the law say and my heart feel what they may.”