Daily Reform, Day 100
Galatians 2:13 & Philippians 2:9-12
From the Reformer
When the conscience is disturbed, do not seek advice from reason or from the Law, but rest your conscience in the grace of God and in His Word, and proceed as if you had never heard of the Law. The Law has its place and its own good time. While Moses was in the mountain where he talked with God face to face, he had no law, he made no law, he administered no law. But when he came down from the mountain, he was a lawgiver. The conscience must be kept above the Law, the body under the Law.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
There is a place for law and also for the Gospel. Think of where you are living at the moment. Are you living in sin or in Christ? If you are living in sin, the law will cry out at you; it will accuse you. If you are living in Christ, the law may have perfectly good reason to accuse you, but the Gospel tells you that Christ died for you. So Christian, live in Christ and also hear the accusations of the law. These will give you excellent direction for improving your life. However, do not think for a moment that these improvements take any part in your salvation. There is only one work that improves your situation with God and that is the work of Christ on the cross.
As soon as we give in to the notion that it is somehow a muddling of Christ’s work and our own, we will fall into hypocrisy. Or worse. The best of us will be led astray, as was Barnabas (Gal 2:13). If I have to do this to keep up my end of the bargain, then so must you. And you will be the one to hold the other accountable. You will be their law. There is no greater hypocrisy since you cannot keep the law. This is wrong and I must not do it! That is fine; do not do it. But do not then lord over another person what you struggle to do. And do not call it salvation, nor even part of salvation.
Christ is the all of salvation. There is no other. There is none other. There is nothing else. He is your salvation. Trust in the All of your salvation. Do not trust what you do as a result of your salvation. Trust only in the One who is working in you.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers