There is a beautiful story handed down through the mists of time…
…about when Martin Luther had a domestic servant residing in his house by the name of Elizabeth, who, in a fit of displeasure, left it without giving the family any notice. She subsequently fell into habits of immorality, and became dangerously ill. In her sickness she requested a visit from Dr. Luther.
On taking his seat at her bedside, he said, ” Well, Elizabeth, what is the matter?” “I have given away my soul to Satan,” said she. “Why,” rejoined Luther, “that’s of no great consequence. What else?”
“I have,” continued she, “done many wicked things; but this is what most oppresses me, that I have deliberately sold my poor soul to the devil, and how can such a crime ever find mercy?”
“Elizabeth, listen to me,” rejoined the man of God. “Suppose, while you lived in my house, you had sold and transferred all my children to a stranger, would the sale or transfer have been lawful and binding?”
“Oh no,” said the deeply humbled girl, “for I had no right to do that.”
“Very well, you had still less right to give your soul to the Archenemy, Satan; for your soul no more belongs to you than do my children. It is the exclusive property of the Lord Jesus Christ; He made it, and when lost also redeemed it; it is His, with all its powers and faculties, and you can’t give away and sell what is not yours; if you have attempted it, the whole transaction was unlawful, and is entirely void.
Now, do you go to the Lord, confess your guilt with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and entreat Him to pardon you, and take back again what is wholly His own. And as for the sin of attempting to alienate His rightful property, throw that back upon the devil, for that, and that alone is his.”
The girl obeyed, prayed for forgiveness, and died full of hope.
“As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”
— Romans 6:19.