06 July 2006

Perpetual Forgiveness

In this matter we do not trust in the faith which we had or in the forgiveness which we obtained in the past, Ezek. 33:13, or else we should be like people who attempt to preserve the sunlight in bags; but we always trust in the ever-present blood of Christ, which perpetually cries for mercy. This blood we continously present to the Father in perpetual repentance. Therefore we do not consider it to be too much if we receive forgiveness of sins early Sunday mornings in the confessional service and again, half an hour later, in the main service, after the confessioin of sins, and once more at twelve o'clock in Holy Communion. Yes, we would not consider it to be too often if we received forgiveness of sins twenty times every hour. I ask, not the sticklers for prescribed forms, if there are such, but the aged women in the closet, Is this true or not? This doctrine, the doctrine of perpetual forgiveness, and none other, protects against [carnal] security. For he who regards justification merely as a stepping-stone to sanctification can easily come to the viewpoint of the clergyman from Pomerania who was given to strong drink. He held that the grace of justification, but not the grace of sanctification had been bestowed upon him. On the other hand, he who thinks he can protect himself from security with the doctrine of gradual forgiveness is not much different from the monks who greviously tortured themselves and yet never found peace. - Edward Preuss, *Justification of the Sinner Before God*, pp. 95,96

4 comments:

Chaz said...

Sublime... but I can't help but think that abundance of public absolution leads to a famine of private absolution.

William Weedon said...

I should have had you read his chapter on James 2 before you presented on it. Very perceptive, insightful.

Viekerhaus said...

I LOVE IT!!!

William Weedon said...

Jon,

It's an amazing book. I'm shocked that I was never required to read it at Sem. I don't recall it even being mentioned. If Bob Schaibley hadn't referred to it off-hand in an email some years ago, I'd never have encountered it at all.

Bill