We’ve Never Done it That Way

Daily Reform, Day 62

Galatians 2:1 & Mark 7:1-8

From the Reformer

Unconvinced, the Jews fiercely opposed Paul, asserting that the Law ought to be kept and that the Gentiles ought to be circumcised, or else they could not be saved.

When we consider the obstinacy with which Romanists cling to their traditions, we can very well understand the zealous devotion of the Jews for the Law. After all, they had received the Law from God. We can understand how impossible it was for recent converts from Judaism suddenly to break with the Law. For that matter, God did bear with them, as He bore with the infirmity of Israel when the people halted between two religions. Was not God patient with us also while we were blindfolded by the papacy? God is longsuffering and full of mercy. But we dare not abuse the patience of the Lord. We dare no longer continue in error now that the truth has been revealed in the Gospel.

Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Churches are almost famous for being stuck in a rut. Any pastor with a fresh idea hears some folks mutter, “We’ve never done it that way before.” Most pastors think, if they do not actually come right out and say it, “Just because you always did it that way before doesn’t make it right.”

Paul admits to himself holding on to traditions. (Gal 1:4) But when he was confronted with the truth, he made the shift from established practice to uncomfortable, even dangerous, change. Each of us knows if and how we operate in opposition to the truth. If it is time for a change, make it, lest you try God’s patience. Do not cling to the old ways; cling to God.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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