July 7, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 2



“The absolved should make every effort to keep himself from doubting that his sins are remitted by God, and he should be quiet at heart.”

Martin Luther


Benjamin Franklin was a very accomplished statesman, politician, and inventor. His many accomplishments put him on a level of humanity few achieve. Because of his skills, when the United States had to negotiate with another nation, he would frequently be called upon to represent the interests of his country. What set Franklin apart wasn’t luck or education, it was his belief that something greater could be achieved.


Though famous for a number of quotes, it’s one of his smallest that has the most power. It’s simply, “When in doubt, don’t.” This kind of thinking led Benjamin Franklin to accomplish much, and it’s the kind of thinking that God wants to instill within us.


Martin Luther came to know the gift of absolution. He fought for much of his life against it, doubting that his sins could ever be accounted for, because as soon as they were absolved, he would start sinning once again. No amount of self-abuse or crippling guilt was enough to satisfy the loathing he had for himself.


When he was in his greatest despair, God brought him to Romans 1:16-17 in his readings, and it changed his life forever. It says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


In this section of Scripture, he was reminded, once again, of the beauty of faith. In these words, which he had probably read a thousand times before, he finally heard the message of absolution. He was reminded that it was faith that would set a person free, not guilt or remorse or self-abuse. He no longer had to be ashamed. He finally realized that he could carry on with the promise of freedom from sins past no longer doubting that, through faith and forgiveness, he was made righteous.


Are you beating yourself up over sins you have committed in the past. If so, know that upon repentance, your sins have been absolved by God. As Ben Franklin would say, If you doubt this, don’t. God has amazing plans for you. Don’t let the failures of your past hold back the successes of your future. Have faith in God to start your life renewed.


Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, through your Holy Spirit let us know the gift of forgiveness. Let us not doubt your complete absolution as we come to you in confession and repentance. Lead us to a greater understanding of your grace so that we may be quiet at heart. Amen.