In Myself Outside Of Christ, I Am A Sinner; In Christ Outside Of Myself, I Am Not A Sinner

"Luther's 'simul justus et peccator' means that in this life a person is a sinner in the eyes of the law, the world, and oneself, while at the same time completely a saint in the eyes of God on account of Christ.  We should not take Luther's 'simul' to mean that a person is partially a sinner and partially righteous, as if one could quantify it in terms of percentages.  That would be to think of the Christian in terms of oneself, in terms of a person's progress upward on a spiritual continuum, whereby one's sinfulness gradually diminishes as one grows in righteousness either psychologically or ontologically.  But Luther does not consider the human person substantially, in terms of some empirically verifiable endowment in the creature.  He views the human person relationally and holistically.  Thus for him, imputed righteousness as a divine judgment brings with it the 'simul justus et peccator' as 'total' states.  The Christian is simultaneously completely and totally righteous in the eyes of God, even as the believer is completely and totally sinful when considered in and of oneself.  This double character of a 'totus-totus' existence remains through all of life up to the very moment Christ raises us from the dead.  Because we are both - completely and simultaneously - until death, there is a constant psychological movement between the two poles."

-Excerpt taken from Robert Kolb & Charles Arand (The Genius of Luther's Theology)

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