Daily Reform, Day 118
Galatians 2:16 & Romans 4:13-16
From the Reformer
We say, faith apprehends Jesus Christ. Christian faith is not an inactive quality in the heart. If it is true faith it will surely take Christ for its object. Christ, apprehended by faith and dwelling in the heart, constitutes Christian righteousness, for which God gives eternal life.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
Faith is not a work but then again, it is not inactive either, in that it lays hold of the work that Christ did on the cross. In other words, faith is not a good work that saves us or justifies us with God. Rather, God uses faith to make us righteous when we believe in the rectifying work of Christ. No amount of human effort will ever apprehend the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
For example, there is no denying that I am my father’s son. Most mornings the mirror reminds me, as does the occasional gesture, or the clearing of my throat, which is the exact annoying sound my father made countless times each day while I was growing up. I cannot deny the fact that I am my father’s son. But I never felt like I was good enough to be his son; I needed to work harder to be a member of his family. The harder I worked the less assurance I seemed to receive that I actually was a Ryman. No amount of human effort was going to make me more Ryman.
I long ago stopped working at it, and simply accepted the fact that I was a Ryman. It made life much easier and far more enjoyable — despite that throat clearing thing.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers