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WHITER THAN SNOW

June 19, 2017
By Martin Luther

Purify me from sin with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
PSALM 51:7

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HOW CAN WE BECOME whiter than snow when sin remains in us and sticks to us? Because of our sins, we are never as clean and holy as we should be. But we have received baptism, which is pure. We have received God’s Word, which is also pure. And through baptism and God’s Word, we have received Christ’s blood, which is absolutely pure. Because of the purity we receive in faith through Christ, we can certainly say that we are whiter than snow. We are purer than the sun and stars, even though sin still sticks to us. Our sin is covered by the purity and innocence of Christ, which we receive when we hear and believe God’s Word. We should keep in mind, though, that this purity comes from completely outside of ourselves. In other words, Christ clothes us with his own perfection.

If we look at a Christian apart from Christ and see him as he really is, we would notice how much he is contaminated by sin. Even if he were a fine person, we would not only see that he’s thoroughly contaminated but also that he’s covered over with a thick, dark film of sin. If someone tried to separate us from Christ and take away our baptism and God’s promises, we would no longer have Christ’s purity. We would be left with nothing but sin.

So when someone asks you, “If sin always sticks to people, how can they be washed so clean that they are whiter than snow?” You can answer, “We should view people, not as they are on their own, but as they are in Christ.”