“Simul Justus et Peccator” ~ Martin Luther
I grew up in a religious tradition that believed that in this life, we can completely beat sin in our and live an entirely Holy life. For years, I was fed this doctrine until I came to a realization that our reward is a Heavenly one and that it is not God’s ultimate goal for our life to make such an Earthly goal. Sure, to try is a standard, but not a rule.
My goal is not to go into a lengthy negation of this idea, but to rather explain, the truth I find in, firstly in the Word of God, and secondly, the wisdom of Martin Luther who pronounces, “Simul Justus et Peccator!”
Martin Luther, originally a devout Roman Catholic monk knew well the once universal language of Latin when announcing that humanity is “at once justified and a sinner.” Luther homes in on the beautiful truth that at the moment of conversion. you are justified, and made right with God, although the unending battle of the flesh rages on. Simply put?
You have grace for sinful nature and by grace, you are justified (Romans 5:1)
Like a child, with a warm blanket afraid of monsters, when you equip Christ’s Gospel and cover your head with His righteousness, the monster of death is no longer able to devour you (Romans 4:22-25). When God looks down at you, He sees Christ, and by His stripes, you are healed. You are a fleshly sinner, walking by the Spirit, covered by the imputed righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This message repulses some and I reckon, once being deceived myself, I understand. But functionally, it is the key to grace. You mustn’t become haughty and high-minded like the Pharisees and see yourself without and criticize those who live “worse.”