Five Minutes a Day with Luther Friday, May 18, 2018
Bible Passage:Gal 6:1
Brethren, if a man be caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
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He who diligently weighs these words of the Apostle may plainly perceive that he does not speak of errors and offenses against doctrine, but of far lesser sins, into which a man does not fall willfully and deliberately, but out of weakness. And therefore he uses such gentle language, calling it a trespass, not error. Again, wishing to diminish, and as it were, to excuse the sin and to remove the whole fault from man, he adds: "If a man be caught," that is to say, beguiled by the devil or by the flesh. This is a sentence full of heavenly comfort. Forasmuch as the saints in this life not only live in the flesh, but now and then also, through the enticement of the devil, fulfill the lust of the flesh, that is to say, fall into impatience, envy, wrath, error, doubting, distrust, and the like (for Satan always assails both, the purity of doctrine, which he labors to take away by sects and dissensions, and also the soundness of life, which he corrupts with daily offenses) ; therefore Paul teaches how such men who are fallen should be dealt with, namely; that they who are strong should raise up and restore them again with the spirit of gentleness. As the Holy Ghost is precise in maintaining and defending the doctrine of faith, so is He mild and full of pity in forbearing and qualifying men's sins, if they who have committed them are also sorrowful for them. "There is no sin," says Augustine, "which any man has done, but another man may do the same." We stand on slippery ground; therefore if we wax proud and forget to do our duty, there is nothing so easy for us as to fall.
In sinful wrath thou shalt not kill,
Nor hate, nor render ill for ill;
Be patient and of gentle mood,
And to thy foe do thou good.
Have mercy, Lord!