Where Our Hope Rests

Daily Reform, Day 3

Galatians 1:1-5 & 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

From the Reformer

Paul is so eager to come to the subject matter of his epistle, the righteousness of faith in opposition to the righteousness of works, that already in the title he must speak his mind. He did not think it quite enough to say that he was an apostle “by Jesus Christ”; he adds, “and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”

The clause seems superfluous on first sight. Yet Paul had a good reason for adding it. He had to deal with Satan and his agents who endeavored to deprive him of the righteousness of Christ, who was raised by God the Father from the dead. These perverters of the righteousness of Christ resist the Father and the Son, and the works of them both.

In this whole epistle Paul treats of the resurrection of Christ. By His resurrection Christ won the victory over law, sin, flesh, world, devil, death, hell, and every evil. And this His victory He donated unto us. These many tyrants and enemies of ours may accuse and frighten us, but they dare not condemn us, for Christ, whom God the Father has raised from the dead is our righteousness and our victory.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Sometimes we are so fixed on faith that we forget what our faith is fixed upon. Our faith has as its focus Christ and his death and resurrection from the dead. Our faith is not in the Church but in whom the Church believes. Our faith is not in doctrines but in the One upon whom those doctrines stand. Our faith is not in the Apostles’ teaching but to whom their teachings point us. Everything about this faith of ours rests initially and finally upon the physical life of the Son of God and his death and resurrection from the dead. From him alone springs the hope of Paul and Luther — and you and me. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam 3:23)

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