Preserve Me

Martin Luther

LW 22, p. 55

"May a merciful God preserve me from a Christian Church in which everyone is a saint! I want to be and remain in the church and little flock of the faint-hearted, the feeble, and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sin, and who suffer persecution for the sake of the Word, which they confess and teach purely and without adulteration.

Satan is a cunning rogue. Through his fanatics he wants to trick the simple-minded into the blief that the preaching of the Gospel is useless. 'Greater effort' is necessary, they say. 'We must lead a holy life, bear the cross, and endure persecution.' And by such a semblance of self-styled holiness, which runs counter the Word of God, many a person is misled. But our righteousness and holiness is in Christ. In Him, not in ourselves, we have perfection (Col. 2:10). And I find comfort in, and cling to, the words of St. Paul spoken in 1 Cor. 1:30: "God made Christ our Wisdom, our Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption."