This Sunday my message will focus on a portion of Scripture that became central for Martin Luther as he came to understand that we are saved through our faith in Christ and not by our works. Here is a portion of the text:
"But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith." Romans 3:21-25
Although Luther had tried hard to make himself righteousness through his own discipline, he fell short. The apostle Paul here in these words states that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory. No matter how hard we may try, we cannot make ourselves right with God on our own. We need Jesus. I hope you can begin to think of your own life. Have you tried to convince God that by your own life you deserve heaven? There comes a point when we have to accept God's gracious offer to us in Christ. It comes to us as a free gift. This gift ought to be liberating for us. Yes, we are to continue to do good deeds - not for meriting heaven, but in response for what God has done in Christ.
May your reflection on these words of Scripture and your worship this Sunday be a blessing.