The Higher Judge

Christians may feel the accusation of their own heart, that is, their conscience, and when they try to calm their heart, they may hear a voice telling them that they are condemned, that they have no forgiveness of their sins and no grace, that they are not children of God and cannot hope for eternal life. To such people the beloved John says, “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart.” That is to say, our heart is indeed a judge, yet only a local judge. There is a higher Judge, namely God, presiding above our heart. I can say to my troubled heart: “Be still, my heart! Be still, my conscience! I have appealed to another Judge to determine if I am free of my sins. That Judge is the great God, who is greater than you. That is a higher court.” A higher court can always reverse the verdict of a lower court. When we hold fast to the Word, then the higher Judge speaks to us: “Your sins are forgiven.”

~C.F.W. Walther, “Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible“, CPH, 2010, p. 219



2 thoughts on “The Higher Judge

  1. Hello Pastor Walthers. Thank you for the beautiful Law and Gospel post. The words from John remind me of the Lutheran hymn “Be still my soul.” I am also thankfull that you were not seriously injured in the auto accident, especially because you and Mrs. Walthers are expecting a new baby. Pastor Gumm has been a souce of Confessional brilliance in the Lutheran blogosphere. I would encourage you to keep posting devotions, Scripture,and the Confessions. You are correct, God is the higher power.

    In Christ,

    • Thanks, Rebecca! I’m thankful that the accident wasn’t much worse than it was. I just saw the other pastor who was with us (not Pastor Gumm) today, and I was very impressed at how well he was doing. Thanks for your encouragement!

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