The Helper Who Comforts

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 JOHN 1:8
The Helper Who Comforts
Therefore, a Christian must somewhere in his heart feel his sin and be frightened of death, because everything that afflicts other sinners oppresses him. The unbelievers are so stuck in their sins that they pay no attention to this, but these, the believers, certainly feel it. But then they have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who comforts and strengthens them until He has completely carried it out and put an end to it; then they will no longer perceive any of those things. . . It does not matter if we feel evil desires, as long as we struggle against them. For that reason, such a person must not judge according to his feelings as if all were lost, but work at the remaining sins he feels all his life, let the Holy Spirit work on him, and sigh without ceasing that he might be free of those sins. This sighing never ceases in the believers, and it goes deeper than can be expressed, as St. Paul says in Romans 8:26. But they have a precious Listener, namely, the Holy Spirit Himself, who certainly perceives this longing and gives such consciences divine comfort.

From the Church Postil, sermon for Pentecost on Acts 2:1-13 (Luther's Works 77:329)
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