The heart of the Reformation can, perhaps, be best summarized by the phrase, simul justus et peccator. Meaning “simultaneously righteous and sinner,” this axiom, coined by Martin Luther, not only captures the essence of the issues that lay at the foundation of the conflict between he and the Church of Rome, but also forms the premise for understanding the entire Christian life as we know it. Hearkening back to the apostle Paul’s own conflict with himself in Romans 7, we understand that the life of a believer is one that vacillates between sinner and saint, fallen and free.
In one true, real sense, we are just; we are made holy in the eyes of God by the work of the Son. But in another true, real sense, we are sinners; we are wretched creatures who lose our first love and fail daily. In and of ourselves, we are sinners. But by imputation and faith, we are made righteous. This is the heart of the gospel message.
In this episode of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I’m joined once again by Tullian Tchividjian to discuss this phrase and all its vast implications in the life of a Christian.
Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints), William McDavid, Ethan Richardson, & David Zahl
Commentary on Galatians, Martin Luther
On the Freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther
All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir, Brennan Manning
This episode is brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. Find out more by going to CSBible.com.
Tullian currently lives in Fort Meyers, Florida with his wife Stacie. There, they attend Living Faith Church. He also writes regularly on his blog, Tullian.net — the mission, of which, is to help broken people encounter God’s boundless love. You can also follow him on Twitter, @tulliant.