Without Rules but With Christ

Daily Reform, Day 93

Galatians 2:12 & Matthew 28:18-20

From the Reformer

The Gentiles who had been converted to faith in Christ, ate meats forbidden by the Law. Peter, visiting some of these Gentiles, ate meat and drank wine with them, although he knew that these things were forbidden in the Law. Paul declared that he did likewise, that he became as a Jew to the Jews, and to them that were without law, as without law. He ate and drank with the Gentiles unconcerned about the Jewish Law. When he was with the Jews, however, he abstained from all things forbidden in the Law, for he labored to serve all men, that he “might by all means save some.” Paul does not reprove Peter for transgressing the Law, but for disguising his attitude to the Law.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

We inquired of the pastor about joining the church. He was thrilled that my wife and I wanted to do so and gave us a piece of paper that we first had to sign, promising we would not do things like smoke cigarettes or go to movies or speak in tongues. I guess they were okay with us snake handling or being gluttons.

How great it would be if the expectation for church membership was genuine discipleship. I intend to bring my family to worship and fellowship and study…to reach out with the gospel…to send missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth.

It is sad when our aim is rules instead of Christ. Let us put aside our petty church rules and focus on what matters: Christ for the world. That was Paul’s chief concern. It became Peter’s concern. It must become ours.

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

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