“Christ’s righteousness is greater than the sins of all men, His life stronger than death, His salvation more invincible than hell.
Thus the believing soul by means of the pledge of its faith is free in Christ, its bridegroom, free from all sins, secure against death and hell, and is endowed with the eternal righteousness, life, and salvation of Christ its bridegroom.
So He takes to Himself a glorious bride, ‘without spot or wrinkle, cleansing her by the washing of water with the word’ (Eph. 5:26–27), that is, by faith in the Word of life, righteousness, and salvation. In this way He marries her in faith, steadfast love, and in mercies, righteousness, and justice.
Who then can fully appreciate what this royal marriage means? Who can understand the riches of the glory of this grace?
Here this rich and divine bridegroom Christ marries this poor, wicked harlot, redeems her from all her evil, and adorns her with all His goodness.
Her sins cannot now destroy her, since they are laid upon Christ and swallowed up by Him.
And she has that righteousness in Christ, her husband, of which she may boast as of her own and which she can confidently display alongside her sins in the face of death and hell and say, ‘If I have sinned, yet my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned, and all His is mine and all mine is His.'”
–Martin Luther, “The Freedom of a Christian,” Luther’s Works, Vol. 31: Career of the Reformer I (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 31; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 31: 352.