Daily Reform, Day 122
Galatians 2:16 & Philippians 3:7-11
From the Reformer
Here let me say, that these three things, faith, Christ, and imputation of righteousness, are to be joined together. Faith takes hold of Christ. God accounts this faith for righteousness.
This imputation of righteousness we need very much, because we are far from perfect. As long as we have this body, sin will dwell in our flesh. Then, too, we sometimes drive away the Holy Spirit; we fall into sin, like Peter, David, and other holy men. Nevertheless we may always take recourse to this fact, “that our sins are covered,” and that “God will not lay them to our charge.” Sin is not held against us for Christ’s sake. Where Christ and faith are lacking, there is no remission or covering of sins, but only condemnation.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
Anything I have done for Christ is worthless next to what Christ has done for me. My religious acts are as useless as this week’s garbage that I am about to set out to the curb and forget forever. There is however one thing I do many times a day that has some value. Every day I find myself once again taking Christ by faith. When I doubt, I believe Jesus. When I sin, I receive Christ. He is the only righteousness that I possess. What I daily hold to has been gifted to me by Christ himself. It is nothing I do or have done or ever will do. All that is trash. So is my sin. My goodness and my badness are covered in a heap under the shed blood of the Savior.
If you look for any goodness in me, look beneath that cleansing flood. You will not see it with the naked eye but through the eye of faith that sees the blood, not the man. The blood of Jesus, his sacrifice for me, has provided me with a righteousness that is not of my own making. He has given me a share in his sacrifice so that I am now as bloodied as he was once. This is the only way I am considered righteous, and so, will share his resurrection.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers