Posted by: Billy Marsh | February 8, 2009

Christ, the Greatest Sinner on Earth

Luther had a knack for saying things in such a controversial manner, yet landing the substance right in the heart of orthodoxy. When I read this statement in Luther’s Table Talk, I thought to myself, “This is classic Luther.” His eloquence and writing style are part of what made him such a major mover and shaker in Christendom.

Just for clarification’s sake, when Luther says that Christ was the greatest sinner on earth, he didn’t mean that Christ sinned. For shock value, I omitted the preceding qualitative word: imputation. Now read Luther’s thought in its context and meditate on this sobering and humbling truth:

All the prophets well foresaw in the Spirit, that Christ, by imputation, would become the greatest sinner upon the face of the earth, and a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; would be no more considered an innocent person and without sin, or the Son of God in glory, but a notorious sinner, and so be for a while forsaken (Psalm 8), and have lying upon his neck the sins of all mankind; the sins of St. Paul, who was a blasphemer of God, and a persecutor of his church; St. Peter’s sins, that denied Christ; David’s sins, who was an adulterer and a murderer, through whom the name of the Lord among the heathen was blasphemed (174, #202, “Of Jesus Christ”).

And I add, Billy Marsh, and all the many ways in which I have blasphemed the precious name of Jesus Christ, the one who knew no sin, who was made sin for us, that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).

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