Whoever is not yet nothing
My God, be not far from me.
“I am alone, despised, and forsaken by everyone. Therefore accept me, and do not forsake me.”
God’s nature is that He makes something out of nothing. Therefore, whoever is not yet nothing, God can make nothing out of him. People, on the other hand, create something out of something, but their work is completely self-indulgent and futile.
Therefore, God accepts nothing except that which is lost. He makes nothing whole except that which is sick. He makes gives sight to no one except the blind, makes nothing alive except what is dead, makes no one godly except the sinner, and makes no one wise except the foolish.
In short, He has mercy on no one except the wretched and miserable, and gives no one grace except those who are outside of His grace. Therefore no proud saint, wise or righteous man can become God’s material or have God’s work accomplished within him; instead he remains in his own works, and makes a fictitious, pretended, false, painted saint of himself—that is, a hypocrite.
Martin Luther, The Seven Penitential Psalms (1525). WA 18: 497-498.