The Law says: ‘You are a sinner.’ If I say, ‘Yes,’ I am lost; if I say, ‘No,’ I must have firm ground on which to stand, to refute the Law and uphold my ‘No.’ But how can I say it when it is true and is confirmed by Holy Scripture that I was born in sin? Where shall I find the ‘No’? Truly I shall not find it in my own bosom, but in Christ. From Him I must receive it and fling it down before the Law and say: ‘Behold, He can say “No” against all Law, and has the right to do so, for He is pure and free from sin, and He gives me the “No,” so that, though I look on myself and must say “Yes” because I see that I am a sinner and cannot stand before the Law, and feel that there is nothing pure within me, and see God’s wrath, yet I can say that Christ’s righteousness is my righteousness, and henceforth I am free from sin.’ This is the goal, that we should be able to say continually that we are pure and godly forevermore, as Christ Himself can say, and all this is wrought through faith.”

Martin Luther 1525