Grafted in by Faith

Ausbund, 32

I do not expect you to treat me harshly Lord, nor to hold my sins against me, because of what Christ suffered for me before I was born. I was your enemy, but you loved me. You had mercy on me and rescued me with the blood of your Son!

All this took place, but great wickedness still assails me. I feel it working in my flesh. I find myself unable to leave sin behind and do good as I would like. For that reason I cry to you, wretch that I am, from the depths of my soul. Who will deliver me from this house of death?

I thank you Christ, my only comfort on earth. I thank you for grafting me in by faith. You are my hope. Surely in you I will not be condemned!

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, unable to meet the law’s demands. But you, Christ, make me whole.

Where man, not Christ, rules the world, the weak are led astray. What Christ does not build comes to nothing, no matter how highly the world exalts it. For that reason all of us ask you Lord to send us true preachers, true distributors of your good gifts to the poor. It is time for man’s works to end, for us to repent and leave sin. Judgement stands at the door.

Let us run to the Father and place ourselves into his firm-handed care. Let us give our hearts to him and allow him to train us, his children.

The world does not know life in Christ. The world flees the cross and thinks that talking about religion is enough. But we know that real Christians put on Christ. They become poor like him in his love and pain.

They are not ashamed to surrender themselves to him in the water of baptism, and do it, even though it costs them their lives.

Judgement begins with the house of God. God’s children get to pay for their sins first. But the sword is raised, the bow is drawn. Imminent wrath hangs over the world. Compared to what the world will suffer, who would not choose the Father’s loving discipline? All he does is make us fit—his chosen ones—to live in his kingdom forever with him! Laus Deo.

Hans Schlaffer,      -1528, Tirol, Austria

A converted priest, leader among the Anabaptists, Hans was captured in the mining town of Schwatz, upper Inn Valley, and kept in a dungeon at the Frundsberg Castle. The night before his public beheading he wrote a long letter to the church.

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