Galatians 1:11-12 & Ephesians 2:1-10
From the Reformer
If it were not for the example of the Galatian churches I would never have thought it possible that anybody who had received the Word of God with such eagerness as they had, could so quickly let go of it. Good Lord, what terrible mischief one single false statement can create.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
Some Christians treat their faith like the latest fad. They can not seem to stay with a particular church. When the pastor who tickled their ears leaves, they leave too. When a new church pops up that is shinier or offers more programs, the old church goes out for the latest thing. The Gospel is not the focus; things have become the focus. God is not the focus; we have become the venerated icon of our own personal religion. Therefore the Word of Grace itself is also often forfeited for the latest turn of events.
God has opened the door of grace to us and we have but to keep walking through, which one does by keeping faith. Yet we want to add works to the mix. “The synagogue of Satan” (Rev 3:9) insists on doing things to prove one is good enough for God. They trade God’s love for religious baubles — laws, rituals, and other works so they can say, Now God has a reason to love me.
God loved you before you ever tried to give him a reason. There is no reason for his love except his mercy. He does not wait for your latest religious fancy. He loved you when you had no care for him, when you were condemned because of your trespasses against him. His mercy reached out in grace and swept away your sin. That is the old, old story yet still the latest thing.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers