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Failings, Fallings, Forgiveness

October 21, 2018
By Martin Luther

When I thought, "My foot slips," Your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

PSALM 94:18

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Failings, Fallings, Forgiveness

But a confession of humility saves and helps. And, indeed, in these verses the outcome and function of temptation is beautifully expressed. For against the wicked no one except the Lord helps; if He did not help, the soul of any tempted person would dwell in hell. And yet He does not help in such a way that He does not permit a man to fall, so that he may acknowledge his weakness and not think that he has stood by his own strength. Therefore, if you have not stood perfectly, give thanks that you did not perish altogether, and ask for pardon for that in which you have failed, so that in this way you may acknowledge the strength of the Lord who helps you and has mercy on, and forgiveness for, that same weakness of yours, as was shown in the case of St. Peter in Matthew 14:30-31. And in 2 Corinthians 1:9 we read: "We had in ourselves the sentence of death, but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." Therefore let the foot be moved, and so let a multitude of griefs come . . . so that also the sweet consolation of mercy may come.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 94 (Luther's Works 11:248)

October 21

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