Not of Men

Daily Reform, Day 1

Galatians 1:1-5 & Jude 3-4

From the Reformer

St. Paul wrote this epistle because, after his departure from the Galatian churches, Jewish-Christian fanatics moved in, who perverted Paul’s Gospel of man’s free justification by faith in Christ Jesus. The world bears the Gospel a grudge because the Gospel condemns the religious wisdom of the world. Jealous for its own religious views, the world in turn charges the Gospel with being a subversive and licentious doctrine, offensive to God and man, a doctrine to be persecuted as the worst plague on earth. As a result we have this paradoxical situation: The Gospel supplies the world with the salvation of Jesus Christ, peace of conscience, and every blessing. Just for that the world abhors the Gospel.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The Church has been entrusted with the Gospel (Jude 3) and is commanded to give an answer to everyone who inquires of the hope that the Gospel provides us (1Pt 3:15). Yet so many Christians seem fearful to open their mouths and speak, perhaps rationalizing, I don’t want to embarrass my Lord or myself. The thing to remind yourself is that God has revealed himself to you in his word. If you are a student of that revelation, you have found it to be trustworthy. So do not rely upon your reason alone and especially not your experiences, for they will always be just your experiences to someone else. Depend upon God’s word. The persons you share your hope with will almost always have nothing to base their convictions on. Their response will so often be, That’s what I believe or That’s just what I think. Upon what do they base their flimsy convictions? Themselves. They hope in themselves. They are their own subjective truth, always changing, rarely reliable, and certainly not eternally so.

Your conviction depends upon something more trustworthy than your own views. Your belief is buttressed by objective truth, a revelation of truth beyond yourself. It is based upon that word that you have studied and found trustworthy (Titus 1:9) and not merely your experiences and feelings. Your belief is founded upon faith, to be sure, but a faith that is now held up by that good news that comes not from unreliable men but that which has been revealed by God. Hold fast to that word while others hold to nothing but self and you will win some of them to the Kingdom.

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