Monday, September 17, 2012

Believers, Sin, and the Mercy of God

From Johann Gerhard (October 17, 1582 – August 17, 1637):

That some [sins] are called venial and only some are called mortal is not because of the nature of the sins but because of the mercy of the Father, the merit of the Son, and the sanctification of the Spirit.  This distinction does not pertain to all people in general but only to the reborn.  It is not to be taken from the Law which accuses and condemns all sins regardless of their type and size, but from the Gospel which demonstrates that sins of weakness and ignorance and corrupt lusts are not imputed to those who believe in Christ if they resist them; that is, if the reborn,
  1. acknowledge these evils which dwell in their heart;
  2. grieve seriously over them;
  3. ask and believe that they are covered by the merit of the Mediator as by an umbrella;
  4. by no means relax the reins upon them but resist them by the Spirit, crucifying the flesh along with its desires.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

There is no such thing as venial or mortal sins. This is nothing but unbiblical Roman Catholic nonsense.

All sins are mortal in that all will send one to eternal death without a savior.

Steve Bricker said...

Agreed, and that is how I was reading Gerhard here. Perhaps I am mistaken.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

It seems to me that he is accepting the Romanist distinction, and agreeing that what determines the difference is how God's mercy applies to them.