Faced with Reality

Who can discern his errors?
PSALM 19:12
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Faced with Reality
Whoever wants to drown out sin and death with works will, of necessity, fail; for it is impossible to recognize all sins (Psalm 19:12). Only the lesser part of sin is recognizable, and the devil or God's judgment will reveal those sins that man cannot recognize or know. Then the conscience will be terrified and say: "O Lord God, I have done nothing to atone for this sin!" For it thought that sins could be paid for with works, and now it is suddenly faced with many and great sins which it knew nothing of, much less paid for. Then this conscience is cast down into despair, and the devil lends a hand and turns all the good works into sins. What can be done then? This soul knows nothing of the kingdom of grace, or that God's steadfast love prevails over us; nor is it in the habit of trusting in His grace.

From Commentary on Psalm 117 (Luther's Works 14:28)
March 13
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