Thursday, June 21, 2007

Our Hidden Lives

This morning in Men's Bible Study we were talking about looking to the cross for all good things. There are trials and tribulations in our lives, and while I will not presume to know the mind of God or His reasoning, one of the blessings of trials and tribulations for Christians is that it can point us back to our sufficiency in Christ.

This afternoon while reading Luther, I came across this very beautiful description of our hidden lives. While we are redeemed and share presently in the glory of our resurrected and ascended Lord, that reality is often hidden.

Luther says: But faith must close its eyes and refuse to pass judgment on what it sees or feels in the world. You won't become aware of eternal life until Christ raises you from the dead. Meanwhile, your eternal life is hidden in death. It's covered up and out of sight. But you have forgiveness. If you feel the weight of sin crushing you, you can still say, "My sins are forgiven." When your sins hunt you down, bite at you, and terrify you, you can look to Christ, put your feeble faith in Him, and hold on tightly.*

It seems at times that telling people to just look to Christ isn't enough. Our sinful nature wants to take the reigns from God. That is where so many church bodies and pastors get into trouble. When you get to a point where Christ's sacrificial and atoning death, His justifying resurrection and glorious ascension and mediation are no longer enough you may as well hand your soul to the devil. Faith closes its eyes to everything but Christ and Him crucified. There we have our sufficiency.

*Luther's Works AE 23:74

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