The following is the fourteenth weekâ€™s lesson. For a brief interlude, we considered the Christian life according to St. Paul in Romans chapters 6-8. Luther famously coined the phrase simulÂ justus etÂ peccator toÂ describe our life as the Baptized. We are “simultaneously justified and sinner.” This will set the conversation as we move into the chapter 6 and following. Apologies for the audio quality. It shouldÂ improve in the future.
Here is a brief definition:
â€œSimultaneouslyâ€ is a crucial word in Christian theology; it describes life and reality in â€œthe time betweenâ€â€”between Jesusâ€™ first and second coming; the time after the announcement that â€œthe kingdom of God is at handâ€ (Mark 1:15) and yet the time during which we pray â€œthy kingdom comeâ€ (Matthew 6:10); the time after Jesusâ€™ bodily resurrection yet before our bodily resurrection; the time after Godâ€™s judgment against sin on the cross and yet the time when we confess that Christ â€œwill come again to judge the living and the dead.â€ â€œSimultaneouslyâ€ points to this time between the timesâ€”the co-existence of two â€œtimesâ€Â at the same time: the old age and the new creation are both present realities. This means that the Christian lives in two times: in themselves, they remain the old Adam in the old age; in Christ, they share the status of the second Adam (Jesus) in the age to come.Â Simul iustus et peccatorÂ is a way of identifying this double existence. It means, literally, â€œsimultaneously just and sinner.â€ The point is not that everyoneâ€™s a little of eachâ€”that the line between good and evil runs through all people as the saying has it. â€œJustâ€ and â€œsinnerâ€ are total rather than partial realities. The Christian, in him or herself, is totally a sinner while at the same time being, in Christ, totally righteous before God. In other words, Christians are fully humanâ€”real people with real problems and real pain. But Christians, at the same time theyâ€™re sinners, are fully and savingly loved (Rom 5:6-10).