Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shoving Aside God's Grace

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:21

Wanting to be justified by our own works through the law is so wrong that the apostle Paul calls this throwing away God's grace. It shows not only ingratitude—which is extremely bad in itself— but also contempt, because we should eagerly seek God's grace. Instead, we shove aside his grace, which we receive free of charge. This is a serious error. Consider Paul's argument: "If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Paul confidently declares that either Christ's death was pointless, which is the highest blasphemy against God, or Christ's death was essential, and through the law we can have nothing but sin.

Some teachers categorize various kinds of righteousness using distinctions they have made up in their heads. If these teachers try to bring these ideas to theology, they should be kept far away from the Holy Scriptures. For these people say one kind is moral righteousness, another is righteousness of faith, and they describe others I don't even know about. Let civil government have its kind of righteousness, the philosophers have theirs, and each person have their own. But we must understand righteousness the way the Bible explains it. The apostle clearly says that there is no other righteousness than through faith in Jesus Christ. All other works, even those according to the holiest laws of God, do not offer righteousness. Not only that, but they are actually sins.

Our sins are so great and so far away from righteousness that it was necessary for the Son of God to die so that righteousness could be given to us. When discussing theology, don't call anything righteousness that is apart from faith in Christ.

From Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, James C. Galvin. ©2005 by Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced without written permission from Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530. Sent from the Martin Luther's Faith Alone Devotional. For devotionals like this one for your iPhone, visit us at 43rdElement.com

Grace, Freedom, Laughter! 

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