For the Record

Daily Reform, Day 127

Galatians 2:16 & 1 Corinthians 4:20-21

From the Reformer

The Law is a good thing. But when the discussion is about justification, then is no time to drag in the Law. When we discuss justification we ought to speak of Christ and the benefits He has brought us.

Christ is no sheriff. He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29.)

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The law can be relentless. Nearly forty years ago, during the era of the Vietnam War, I was detained nine times during the course of one summer for been Absent Without Leave (AWOL). It was because of my hair style. At the beginning of the summer, I had my hair cut extremely short in a style called a buzz cut. I was almost bald at a time when nearly every other male my age sported long hair. I looked like I was in the military while living in a city far from any military base.

Each time I was stopped by an officer, I pleaded my case to deaf ears; I was guilty because I looked guilty. My record was checked each of the times I was stopped by an officer. Each time my record showed that I was registered for the draft but not drafted into military service. Yet, as mentioned, the law can be dogged. When being AWOL was no longer an excuse for hauling me in, another reason was sought to take me downtown. The easiest pretext would have been vagrancy. I was let go free because I had money in my pocket, a job, and a place of residence. I was a citizen in good standing and had to be permitted to go free.

Jesus is not like this at all. Each time he sees me, he does not suspect that I must be guilty of some crime even though I am quite certain I must look guilty of something. He has removed by offense. For the record, when he looks at me he recognizes me, shorn or not, as a citizen in good standing in the kingdom of the Lamb, where the long arm of the law cannot reach.

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

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