Thursday

Another set of eyes

Let God be God.
MARTIN LUTHER

The_Holiness_of_God_by_R.C.SproulI’m not sure why R. C. Sproul included Chapter Six—“The Insanity of Luther”—in this book.

But I’ve concluded for me, looking at God’s holiness through someone else’s eyes helps me see Him in a different light.

He’s too big for one set of eyes at a time.

At Luther’s first mass after his ordination, he froze at the altar. Why? He explained:

Who am I, that I should lift up mine eyes or raise my hands to the divine Majesty? The angels surround him. At his nod the earth trembles.

And shall I, a miserable little pygmy, say “I want this, I ask for that”? For I am dust and ashes and full of sin and I am speaking to the living, eternal and the true God.

I can relate. You?

But Sproul points out two things about Luther that separated him from others: He knew who God was, and he understood the demands of God’s law.

And he felt extreme guilt that he couldn’t meet those demands.

He concluded that if the Great Commandment was to love God with all the heart, then the Great Transgression was to fail to love God with all the heart. He saw a balance between great obligations and great sins.

Who can perfectly keep the Great Commandment? No human. So Luther wrestled with how God could accept him:

The genius of Luther ran up against a legal dilemma that he could not solve. There seemed to be no solution possible. The question that nagged him day and night was how a just God could accept an unjust man.

But he finally did get it. Me, too. And you?

Once Luther grasped Paul’s teaching in Romans, he was reborn. The burden of his guilt was lifted.

I get that. I hope you do, too. It sounds insane, but it’s not.

It’s Truth. Let’s keep working it out together.

* * *

Does it help you to see God through others’ eyes?

Next:
Chapter 6, Holy Justice

More on Chapter 5 at Challies
Previous chapters

4 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Like you, I don't see how this chapter fits with the book so far...but I learned a lot from it.

Kara said...

I have to say I think this was my favorite chapter so far. I think by including this chapter on Luther, Sproul was attempting to illustrate a right understanding of God's holiness...and how his grace and mercy relate to it. Who better than Luther for that? Here are my thoughts this week:
http://homewithpurpose.blogspot.com/2010/11/reading-classics-together-holiness-of_11.html

Becky said...

Lisa,

I love the way you put it..."looking at God’s holiness through someone else’s eyes helps me see Him in a different light."

So true!
I am grateful for Luther's eyes, the rich man's eyes, and Sproul's eyes today.

Now I have seen more clearly.

Mrs. David Hankins said...

Yes, I can relate a bit to Luther. I'm so glad that he found Grace!

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1, ESV).

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