The Son of God is “the true Light, which lights every man that cometh into the world.” Therefore whoever does not acknowledge Christ and believe in Him, and does not make Him his own, is and remains a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and of damnation, no matter what he is called or what he is. But if man is to find mercy, Christ alone must be the means. He alone makes us paupers rich with His superabundance, expunges our sins with His righteousness, devours our death with His life, and transforms us from children of wrath, tainted with sin, hypocrisy, lies, and deceit, into children of grace and truth. Whoever does not possess this Man possesses nothing.
“Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4” in Works, 22:130–131.
All that repent are justified through faith by Christ, and not by works. Paul … concludeth that every man must be justified without deservings, without works, and without help of the law; but alone by Christ.
“A Prologue upon the Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians” in The Works of William Tyndale, 1:513.
The grace of Christ alone provides true satisfaction for sin and peace to the conscience.
Christ has provided full satisfaction. But such is their perversity, they say that both forgiveness of sins and reconciliation take place once for all when in Baptism we are received through Christ into the grace of God; that after Baptism we must rise up again through satisfactions; that the blood of Christ is of no avail, except in so far as it is dispensed through the keys of the church. And I am not speaking of a doubtful matter, since not one or another, but all the Schoolmen, have, in very clear writings, betrayed their own taint. For their master, after he confessed that Christ on the tree paid the penalty of our sins, according to Peter’s teaching [1 Peter 2:24], corrected that statement by adding the exception that in Baptism all temporal penalties of sins are relaxed, but after Baptism they are lessened by the help of penance, so that the cross of Christ and our penance may work together. But John speaks far differently: “If anyone has sinned, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ …; and he is the propitiation for our sins” [1 John 2:1–2]. “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven in his name.” [1 John 2:12] Surely he is addressing believers, to whom, while he sets forth Christ as the propitiation of sins, he shows that there is no other satisfaction whereby offended God can be propitiated or appeased. He does not say: “God was once for all reconciled to you through Christ; now seek for yourselves another means.” But he makes him a perpetual advocate in order that by his intercession he may always restore us to the Father’s favor; an everlasting propitiation by which sins may be expiated. For what the other John said is ever true: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” [John 1:29; cf. John 1:36]. He, I say, not another, takes them away; that is, since he alone is the Lamb of God, he also is the sole offering for sins, the sole expiation, the sole satisfaction. For while the right and power of forgiving sins properly belong to the Father, in which respect he is distinguished from the Son, as we have already seen, Christ is here placed on another level because, taking upon himself the penalty that we owe, he has wiped out our guilt before God’s judgment. From this it follows that we shall share in the expiation made by Christ only if that honor rest with him which those who try to appease God by their own recompense seize for themselves.
We must place our trust solely on Him as our only Savior, and on no other, not on ourselves or our own opinions, however good they may be. Do not trust yourself to your own opinions, but take them to Christ and see whether they are in conformity with the faith (Romans 12:2) and the Word of the holy Gospel. I, too, occasionally have beautiful and splendid thoughts, and I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired them. But when I judge them in the light of faith, I realize that they are sheer filth, sinful and impure. Therefore it is essential for the heart of a Christian to be firmly convinced that Christ’s innocent life, His holy blood, and precious death are our salvation, that we, together with all the saints, must cling to Christ alone, and that no saint in heaven ever relied on himself and his own righteousness.
“Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4” in Works, 22:272.