Proverbs 3:7, 11:2
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
Of all the great saints, Martin Luther’s may have had the most humble Christian eyes. Though Luther is famous for seeing problems with the church, he saw problems with himself first. At confession Luther would wear priests out, as he droned on and on for hours.
His 95 Theses reflected that attitude. They even suggested that everyone should be like him.
When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent ye,” He willed the whole life of believers to be one of repentance. — Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” Thesis #1
Martin had no idea he was “starting something” when he posted his theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. It was how people typically engaged in academic discussion. You can see that in the preface:
Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.
But start something he did, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We’ve studied the Christian eyes of many great saints, but Luther is the most relevant case.
Christian eyes see things as they really are, not as our regular eyes see them. But the main thing that regular eyes don’t see is our sin. The primary function of Christian eyes is to reveal that which we most don’t want to see—our own fallen nature.
If you are grieved by yourself, if you’re haunted by your past, then rejoice. That guilt is the most healthy emotion in the world; it’s the hallmark of Christian eyes.
But don’t let this news cure you of that guilt. Remember, Luther said that the whole life of believers [is] to be one of repentance. Never lose that precious sense of guilt and dependence on the Lord.
You are saved.
You are justified.
You are NOT innocent.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.