The article in this link said:

Something has gone wrong in Lutheranism. It has been more than adequately shown that regarding the doctrine of the eternal predestination of God Martin Luther taught things directly contrary to the standards of Modern Lutheranism

Which to be honest, I still cannot understand that "the Modern Lutheran Church has gone wrong" is in a positive sense or a negative sense in the view of the writer in that article.

In other words, it's not clear to me whether the views of Modern Lutheran Church is an apostasy or not in the article's writer point of view.

Anyway, Luther said in this link:

No sin can separate us from Him (Martin Luther: Letter to Melanchthon)

One of my commentator said:

Luther knew that no sin is 'too great' to separate us from the love and forgiveness of God, in Christ

So the question is:
Based on what verse did Luther knows that no sin can separate the believers from God ?

  • 1
    The question, as it stands, is disturbing due to apparent misrepresentation and/or bias. Luther did sometimes say alarming things about morals which - if taken out of context - would mislead many. The classic example is the one you give, the notorious pecca fortiter: "Sin for all you are worth, God can forgive only a lusty sinner." But to claim this was proof of Luther's ethic is grossly unfair because it was a piece of uproarious chaffing of the anaemic Melanchthon, who was in a dither over scruples of conscience. Luther knew his jest would not encourage Melanchthon to jettison the 10 Cs.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 9:12
  • 1
    Luther was saying, tongue in cheek, that it might do him good to spoil his record, for once. Luther has pointed out that an unblemished record engenders the worst of all sins, pride. But the only sins Luther 'recommended' as record spoilers were a little overeating, overdrinking and oversleeping. Your 'take' on those verses is unwarranted, based on misunderstanding Luther's stance on sin. I'm not offering an answer, just a comment, as I know nothing about Lutheranism's take on this but Lesley's answer is good on that. Read Here I Stand by Roland Bainton ch. 13 (Lion 1988) for more.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 9:22
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    karma, you have to establish the context for each quote. What if Luther's other quote was about no sin prior to conversion preventing God's saving grace because Jesus has the magnitude of deity needed to 'cover' ALL sin. The LDS, for instance, hold that the sin of murder is not covered by Christ. Luther knew that no sin is 'too great' to separate us from the love and forgiveness of God, in Christ. And once we belong to Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit continues his work in the believer, to bring them safely to the 'day of Christ' (Phil. 1:6). But this is now deviating from your original
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 12:28
  • 1
    question which is supposed to be about what the Lutheran church believes about this matter. There is a need to establish one matter first before progress can be made with attendant issues. I respectfully suggest that taking isolated comments Luther is supposed to have said (without citing sources) and forming your question based on what you think he meant and how that would apply to a verse of scripture is back-to-front. Know all of Luther's stance on sin and forgiveness, then you might see that he would never go along with what you have read into that verse, as if that was Luther's 'take'.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 12:34
  • 2
    I am not prolonging this comment strand, for you need to ask a fresh Q. I do not know anything about the Lutheran Church except that it is very far removed today from what it was at its inception in the early 1500s and that by the end of the 16th century an independent, distinctive Lutheran confession had emerged, entirely separate from other confessions. After 1648 'Evangelical Lutheran Church' became a general expression, prior to which 'Lutheran' was used by Luther's opponents in a derogatory sense, followers of Luther calling themselves Catholic evangelicals. I won't chat about this.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that the Lutheran Church believes it is possible for someone to lose their salvation because of unrepentant and persistent sin. I doubt they would interpret Romans 8:38-39 in the manner you suggest. Here is some information I found that may be relevant:

At times, our pastors, with considerable sorrow, may have to tell a person not to attend the Lord’s Supper until he or she has repented of sin. If the situation continues without repentance, the pastor may have to declare to the person, on behalf of the congregation that has made this decision, that he or she is excluded from the church until there is repentance. Excommunication is a last resort to help a person recognize the extremely dangerous situation he has placed himself in because he will not repent of his sin. It is a final attempt to win someone back from Satan’s influence. Source: https://www.faithlutherancorning.org/confession-absolution

The Lutheran Church believes that repeated sin hardens the heart and may lead to sinning against the Holy Spirit. Also, as noted in the previous extract above, unrepentant and repeated sin could result in being excommunicated:

SIN: Transgression of God's law (Ro 4:15; 1 Jn 3:4). Sin may be divided into original sin (see Sin, Original) and actual sin. Actual sin (every act, thought, emotion (e.g., lust*) conflicting with God's law) may be involuntary or may be done ignorantly (Acts 17:30) and includes sins of commission (cf., e.g., Mt 15:19; Ja 1:15) and sins of omission (Ja 4:17). Sin arouses God's righteous wrath and deserves His punishment. Willful sin sears conscience*; repeated, it hardens the heart; may lead to, but is not identical with, the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit.’ http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=s&word=SIN

This extract explains the Lutheran view of sin, but it does not suggest a believer can persist in unrepentant sin and "get away with it":

VENIAL AND MORTAL SINS: The Lutheran Confessions speak of sin* that is mortal, or deadly, i. e., irreconcilable with faith (Ap IV 48, 64, 109, 115). When believers fall into open sin, faith has departed (SA-III III 43–44). One who obeys his lusts does not retain faith (Ap IV 144). Original sin (see Sin, Original) is mortal; it brings eternal death on those who are not born again (AC II 2 Lat.). One who is dead in sin is insensitive to sin (LC, V: The Sacrament of the Altar, 77–78). Sins remain in believers (SA-III III 40; FC SD II 34). Many regard the following as 7 deadly sins, fatal to spiritual progress: pride,* covetousness,* lust,* anger, gluttony, envy,* sloth. But man cannot weigh, distinguish, or differentiate sins; all sins manifest total corruption (SA-III III 36–38), merit God's wrath (Mt 5:18–19; Gl 3:10; Ja 2:10), and are deadly (Eze 18:4; Ro 6:23); every sin loses its deadly effect when Christ, apprehended by faith, intervenes (Ro 8:l; 1 Jn 1:7, 9; 2:1–2). Source: http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=s&word=SINS.VENIALANDMORTAL

I am not a Lutheran and I may have misunderstood what you are asking (because it is not clear).

Edit re your view that Martin Luther believed it was all right to continue in sin: Wrong. Martin Luther nowhere supports that interpretation of Romans 8:38-39. That partial quote from the letter Luther wrote to Melanchthon has been taken out of context. Please note: “The Modern Lutheran church does not stand with Martin Luther on the issue of predestination, and thus suffers from an internal contradiction. Its efforts to modify Luther's views and to present a more moderate case for predestination ultimately end in conflict with Luther's uncompromising doctrine of God's Sovereignty.” https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/double_luther.html

  • Thank you for the answer, Lesley. You got my question correctly and clearly. In my question I would like to know whether Romans 8:38-39 in Lutheran's point of view is including do sin over again and again after has been saved will NOT separate him/her from the love of God. I don't quite understand, as from Luther's letter for Melanchthon to me it's showing OSAS (or a Perseverance of the Saints), but the quote in your answer, to me it seems it's not showing OSAS. Please CMIIW.
    – karma
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 8:10
  • You seem to be confusing the teachings of Martin Luther with "Lutherans". Be aware the modern Lutheran Church disagrees with Martin Luther on Predestination, which is what this subject matter is about. Do you want Martin Luther's views on sinning as much as you like without losing your salvation, or do you want the views of the Lutheran Church? I believe they are not the same.
    – Lesley
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:54
  • Do you mean that the views of the Lutheran Church during Martin Luther still live is different from the Lutheran Church today, Leslie ?
    – karma
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 15:25
  • Karma, I am not a Lutheran. But it seems to me you are asking about the beliefs of Martin Luther. I have no idea what the original Lutheran Church taught, neither do I care. If, as I suspect, Martin Luther nowhere supports your interpretation of Romans 8:38-39, then there is no point in pursuing this matter. I'm done here.
    – Lesley
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 15:33
  • Leslie, you wrote : "your view that Martin Luther believed it was all right to continue in sin: Wrong". Is my view (from Luther's letter to Melanchthon) that Luther knows that no sin can separate believers (him and Melanchthon in this case) from God, wrong too ?
    – karma
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 15:33

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