The Work that Saves

Daily Reform, Day 94

Galatians 2:12 & Romans 11:1-6

From the Reformer

Paul does not accuse Peter of malice or ignorance, but of lack of principle, in that he abstained from meats, because he feared the Jews that came from James. Peter’s weak attitude endangered the principle of Christian liberty. It is the deduction rather than the fact which Paul reproves. To eat and to drink, or not to eat and drink, is immaterial. But to make the deduction “If you eat, you sin; if you abstain you are righteous”—this is wrong.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Hold to your resolutions but do not make them things by which you are saved unto Christ. You prescribe to a particular translation of the Scripture? That is good; read it day and night. You only sing the old hymns? They are edifying indeed. You wear only simple clothing? May they last a long time. You do not smoke or drink? God bless you. But do not hold these works over another conscience as though they are acts that save. There is one act that saves, one alone: the crucified Christ. Trust in his work and you are saved forever. Trust in your own and you are already lost.

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

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