Daily Reform, Day 121
Galatians 2:16 & Matthew 7:21-27
From the Reformer
In order to have faith you must paint a true portrait of Christ. The scholastics caricature Christ into a judge and tormentor. But Christ is no law giver. He is the Lifegiver. He is the Forgiver of sins. You must believe that Christ might have atoned for the sins of the world with one single drop of His blood. Instead, He shed His blood abundantly in order that He might give abundant satisfaction for our sins.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
Jesus Christ will indeed judge of the living and the dead. (2Tim 4:1) God has appointed him to do so. (Acts 10:42) The One who died so that all might live should be the judge of the dead and the living. The One who overcame death through resurrection is the perfect arbiter of those who have inherited eternal life.
Many will come to the throne of God on the day that begins eternal day with the claim that they deserve admittance to heaven. (Matt 7:21-22) Christ will be the Judge of such claims. The main evidence in his judgment relates to his personal knowledge of the one judged. When you stand before his throne, he will either know you or he will not know you. (Matt 7:23) Certainly God knows all of his creation; he is not ignorant of the existence of some people. When Jesus says, “I never knew you,” the word “knew” carries the deeper meaning of knowledge of someone through a continuing, personal relationship. Because there will be some who appear before him who claim to be someone they are not, he will plainly say to them, I was never related to you. He will not recognize them for who they claim to be.
These are the souls who mistake good works for family relations. But I did this and I did that and so, on the basis of my actions I deserve to be admitted into heaven! Do not be deceived; there will many on that day who will have accomplished more good than others but will be denied admittance. Ones who may have accomplished less will be admitted because they believed more. Instead of trusting in their own merits, they believed on the Lord who gave his lifeblood so that they might be admitted as blood family.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers