Reputation

Daily Reform, Day 126

Galatians 2:16 & Galatians 6:12-16

From the Reformer

The true way of becoming a Christian is to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ, and not by the works of the Law.

We know that we must also teach good works, but they must be taught in their proper turn, when the discussion is concerning works and not the article of justification.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Yes. Yes! Do good works. May your neighbor know you for your good deeds. However, it is not your neighbor who will judge you. You will stand before One who knows you better than your neighbor. All of your good works will be cancelled by one sin. A lifetime of fine deeds will be annulled by the sin within you, let alone the sin that you do. This is why One greater than sin must be within you, to repeal your sin.

In the end, you had better not be known for your good-neighborliness. Be known by Christ, the good Savior of sinners like you and me, for your conduct will amount to nothing before the Judge of heaven and earth. You will be accused by the devil himself and he will recall your every sin and evil thought. You must be able to respond to those accusations that your reputation is from God and that, “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

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

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