Chapter 2 “The Core of Human Identity” pp. 33-52
Kolb and Arand discuss our identity as humans, particularly as sinful humans faced with the righteous God. In Medieval thought, the perfect righteousness of God implied that he would punish all sin. This resulted in preaching and teaching intended to increase human obedience. We had to reach up to God’s perfection so he could look upon us. Luther and the other Reformers came to understand that, in harmony with God’s grace, he gave believers his perfection. It was never something we could obtain. Christians are given the benefit of the righteousness of Christ because God has spoken it into them. When he has declared that sins are forgiven they really are. Luther also compared salvation to a marriage agreement in which all the property of the wife belongs to the husband and vice-versa. This means that Jesus takes my sin and I take his righteousness. We remain in this state until the last day. Our faith, therefore, is not based on our feeling or any emotional perception. It is based on God’s Word of promise. Looking to the promises allows us to see reality.