Martin Luther on Sin

“Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.”

Martin Luther

For more Martin Luther quotes see:

Martin Luther Quote on the Psalms #2

A Quote from Martin Luther

Martin Luther on Hope

Resisting Temptation in Our Hour of Trial

In the Hour of Trial was written by James Montgomery (1771-1854), who was born in Scotland of Irish parents.  His father, John Montgomery, was a Moravian pastor. It was inspired by the story of Peter’s threefold denial of Christ, and is a plea for help in times of trial and temptation. The Bible acknowledges that we will be tempted, but help is available.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

As you listen, remember that you can always turn to Jesus for help in resisting sin.

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin–Book Review

If you’d like to learn more about the attributes of God, this little book would be a great place to start. Author Jen Wilkin lists ten ways God is different from us. God is:

None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing) by [Jen Wilkin]











After discussing each characteristic along with relevant Bible verses, she brings it down to the personal level with discussion questions at the end of each chapter. As sinful human beings, we like to believe that we can “be like God” and so we try hard to acquire these attributes for ourselves — thankfully, it won’t work!

The discussion questions could be used in a small group study, or you can journal with them (I did). You’ll come away with a greater understanding about who God is and why He alone is worthy of our worship.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. Well-researched and easy to read. I recommend it!

For more about the attributes of God see:

The Attributes of God

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers — Book Review

Is There a God? If So, What is God Like?– Or Katelyn’s Question #1

The Devil’s “D” Words

This is from a Bible study I wrote years ago and it seems to fit with our topic this month.

DECEIT–Satan always seeks to deceive us, and often his falsehoods sound good. “When he lies he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

DOUBT–The devil questions God’s Word and His goodness. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

DIVERSION–Satan draws our attention the wrong things and makes them appear more attractive and appealing than the right things. “For God knows that when you eat of it (the fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:5-6

DISCOURAGEMENT–Satan uses our problems and difficulties to depress us and make us give up. He tried this with Job. “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

DELAY–Someone once said “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” He tries to make us put off doing what is good, so that we never do it at all. “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ….If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:13-17

DIVISION–We are stronger together, so Satan seeks to separate us from other believers. In his letter to the Roman church, Paul says: ” I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ…” Romans 16:17-18

The result of all these “D” words is another one: DISOBEDIENCE— and we all know what that leads to:

“For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a

Thankfully that’s not the end of the story–

but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23b

Satan may deceive, divert, discourage, delay and divide, but he will not defeat us. God has the last word. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

For more about disobedience see:

It Started in the Garden

,Grieving the Spirit

Against You Only

Thanksgiving Graces by Mark Kimball Moulton — Book Review

In this delightful little book, a young boy learns the value of sharing as his family members invite more and more visitors to their Thanksgiving feast. Will there be enough for everyone, he wonders? Grandma reassures him, reminding him that in the Bible Jesus was able to provide a crowd of people with fish and bread. She explains:

“The more you love and care, the more there seems to be for everyone to share.”

Beautiful, warm illustrations by Daniel Wenzel complement the lyrical text. This would be a great book to read out loud with youngsters to remind them of the true meaning of the holiday.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. I loved it!

For more holiday books for children see these reviews:

Manger by Lee Bennett Hopkins — Book Review

Great and Small Easter by B&H Kids Editorial Staff — Book Review

The Silent Noisy Night by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

Sins and Sermons

If you attend church every week, or most weeks, you hear a lot of sermons; and you may have noticed that most of them deal with sin. In fact, Lutherans believe that all sermons should contain both law and gospel — the law to convict us of our sin and the gospel to remind us that we are forgiven.

My question today, though, is how do you react to those sermons about sin? My husband says we are prone to this kind of thinking: it’s not about you, it’s not about me — those sins belong to the guy behind the tree. In other words, we like to hear the law when it applies to somebody else, but we’re loathe to listen when it touches our own lives. A book I’ve been reading, None Like Him by Jen Wilkin, presents the same idea:

“As the preacher warms to his topic about sin X, I begin compiling a mental list of all the people I know who need to hear this message and repent. I cull through lists of those who have offended me …. plotting about how I can off-handedly relate the wisdom of this sermon to them…”

What we should be thinking is: “how does this message apply to me?” Even when we see that we are guilty, we become defensive, believing that extenuating circumstances release us from full culpability. Worse yet, we may become angry — how dare the Pastor criticize us and our behavior that way! We’re sitting here in church, so we’re one of the good ones, right? When it comes to our own sin, we are blind, and not only that, we want to stay that way!

Next time you listen to a sermon about sin (which will probably be this week), realize that God (not the pastor) is speaking to you! He knows you inside and out. He knows what’s in your mind and your heart. He knows your sin, even when you want to deny it. Sanctification is growing in our dependence on God, and the first thing we need is forgiveness. Accept it, as God’s grace and grow closer to Him in gratitude.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

For more posts about sin see:

Sin and Grace

Occasions of Sin

Why to Avoid Sin

A Thousand Tongues

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing was used in a recent worship service I attended. It was one of the more than six thousand hymns written by Charles Wesley and was originally titled “For the Anniversary of One’s Conversion.” Part of any conversion experience is the realization that we are sinners, and we can’t stop sinning. The only remedy is a Savior, and Wesley recognizes and proclaims that truth in this well known hymn.

In May 1738, Charles Wesley was suffering from pleurisy, and during this time he was plagued with doubts about his faith. On May 21st, he attend a Bible study where he listened to a number of testimonies. He was deeply moved by this experience and considered it to be the moment that he turned to Christ.

Eleven years later, he wrote a 18 stanza poem about his conversion. It is thought to be inspired by Peter Bohler, an influential Moravian leader, who said “Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with all of them.”

For more hymns by Charles Wesley see these posts:

Jesus, Lover of My Soul


Deeper by Dane C. Orland — Book Review

Subtitled, “Real Change for Real Sinners”, this book is about the process of sanctification. At first, I found it a bit simplistic — but that is actually the author’s point. We all need to go back to the basics in order to grow. Real, positive growth happens when we go deeper and deeper into the basics that we may have known for years.

The first step, if we’re growing in Christ, is to know what Christ is like. Then we need to despair — despair of being able to save ourselves on our own. We have to see and admit the sin that is always with us. When we collapse into the love of Christ, we are united with Him. We’re transformed, and our future is no longer bound up in the sinful Adam –we’re a new creation in Christ. All of this is the necessary foundation that leads to the dynamics by which believers change. We have been acquitted, or justified and are now reconciled with God.

The author then turns toward the question of how we practically, absorb the truth of our salvation into our daily lives. He focuses on two tools which he considers most important — the Bible and prayer. Our relationship with Christ must be nurtured and fed.

So, yes, this is a book about basics, and the most basic instruction is this — Look to Christ. We need to reminded, and to follow His teachings and example every day.


The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more book reviews see these posts:

Pure In Heart by J. Garrett Kell–Book Review

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger–Book Review

Every Which Way to Pray by Joyce Meyer–Book Review

The Devil Made Me Do It!

I found this in going through old church newsletters and thought it went well with this month’s theme — SIN!

The Devil’s Beatitudes

*Blessed are they who are too tired to assemble with the church on Sunday, for they cause the world to say, ‘The church is failing.’

*Blessed are they who are bored with the mannerisms and mistakes of the minister; for they will learn nothing from the sermon.

*Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church; for he is important to me.

*Blessed are they who are easily offended; for they get angry and stop doing God’s work.

*Blessed are they who do not give generously to God’s work and mission; for they are my helpers.

*Blessed is he who claims to love God but hates his brother; for he will be with me forever.

*Blessed are the troublemakers; they shall be called the children of Satan.

*Blessed is he who has not time to pray; he will be easy prey for me.

For more posts about the devil see:

Resist the Devil

The World, The Flesh and … oh yes, THE DEVIL

The Gospel According to Satan by Jared C. Wilson–Book Review

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Confessing Our Sins

“He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final breakthrough to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. May Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy.”

For more Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes see:

A Quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Loyal to the End — A Quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Quote on the Christian Life by Dietrich Bonhoeffer