Life of Repentance
29 November 2018
Repentance is the daily practice of the Christian. This is true because we remain sinners (1Jn 1:8). Therefore, the self-rejection that is part of the Christian life will remain until the day we die. We cannot think ourselves above the Holy One, the true and faithful saint, who Himself bore the burden of the cross and the rejection that that burden implies. What would make us think ourselves above its burden? If Jesus bore the cross, we shall as well (Mt 16:24). The weight of the holy law leads us to tearful contrition (Ps 6:6). The cross and contrition have always been the life of the saints.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self, that is, true inner repentance, until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
"If a person's whole life is one of repentance and a cross of Christ, not only in voluntary afflictions but also in temptations of the devil, the world, and the flesh, and more especially also in persecutions and sufferings, as is clear...from the whole of Scripture and from examples of the Saint of saints himself and all the martyrs, then it is evident that the cross continues until death and thereby to entrance into the kingdom.
"This is evident also in the case of other saints. St. Augustine had copies prepared of the seven penitential psalms, prayed them with tears in his eyes and meditated upon them, declaring that even a bishop, no matter how righteously he may have lived, should not leave this world without penance. St. Bernard also, while he was in agony, shouted, 'I have lived in a reckless manner for I have wasted my time; I have nothing, but I know that because my heart is contrite and humble, O God, You will not despise me' (Ps 51:1).
"This thesis is evident from reason. The cross of repentance must continue until, according to the Apostle, the body of sin is destroyed (Rm 6:6) and the inveterate first Adam, along with its image, perishes, and the new Adam is perfected in the image of God. But sin remains until death, although it diminishes daily through the renewing of the mind.
"At least the punishment of death remains in every case. This is the fear of death, which is surely the punishment of punishments and is itself worse than death in most cases, to say nothing of the fear of judgment and hell, the qualms of conscience, etc."

Martin Luther, Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses, 5
Psalm 51:14-17

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
O Lord, do not enter into judgment against me, for no one living is righteous before You. Amen.
For Paul Kehrer, that the Lord Jesus would grant him healing and recovery from back surgery
For all those who are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, that God their heavenly Father might free them from their demons
For all those who await the return of Christ, that the Word of God might dwell among them richly and that they might ever repent and receive from Christ His gifts of life and forgiveness
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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