Who Do You Believe?

Daily Reform, Day 130

Galatians 2:16 & John 14:1-6

From the Reformer

The papists do not believe this. They say, “A person who performs this good deed or that, deserves the forgiveness of his sins. A person who joins this or that holy order, has the promise of everlasting life.”

To me it is a miracle that the Church, so long surrounded by vicious sects, has been able to survive at all. God must have been able to call a few who in their failure to discover any good in themselves to cite against the wrath and judgment of God, simply took to the suffering and death of Christ, and were saved by this simple faith.

Nevertheless God has punished the contempt of the Gospel and of Christ on the part of the papists, by turning them over to a reprobate state of mind in which they reject the Gospel, and receive with gusto the abominable rules, ordinances, and traditions of men in preference to the Word of God, until they went so far as to forbid marriage. God punished them justly, because they blasphemed the only Son of God.

This is, then, our general conclusion: “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The latest report is in: an even higher percentage of Americans profess no specific faith, yet claim they believe in God. It is no wonder. So many churches today have traded the authority of God’s Word for their own say-so. They say, Well, I know it says that in the Bible but we don’t believe that anymore. We are more modern than that today.

A sign outside a church just down the street from my home tells passersby it does not matter what they believe, just please come to their church. A person seeking membership in the church where I worship declared much the same: there are many means of salvation, that Jesus is not the only way.

The Church of our Lord believes no such thing. The Church of Christ believes the Word of God which says Jesus alone is the way, that one is only brought to the Father by faith in him. This is God’s wisdom opposed to the wisdom of humans. Augustine said, “If you believe what you like in the gospels and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

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

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