Daily Reform, Day 132
Galatians 2:17 & Matthew 19:16-26
From the Reformer
“What are these false apostles doing?” Paul cries. “They are turning Law into grace, and grace into Law. They are changing Moses into Christ, and Christ into Moses. By teaching that besides Christ and His righteousness the performance of the Law is necessary unto salvation, they put the Law in the place of Christ, they attribute to the Law the power to save, a power that belongs to Christ only.”
The papists quote the words of Christ: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17.) With His own words they deny Christ and abolish faith in Him. Christ is made to lose His good name, His office, and His glory, and is demoted to the status of a law enforcer, reproving, terrifying, and chasing poor sinners around.
The proper office of Christ is to raise the sinner, and extricate him from his sins.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
It is an excellent teaching to say that one should keep the commandments. It is a horrible doctrine to insist that doing so justifies a person with God. Christ alone justifies. Have faith in him, even when your works fail him — and you. “With God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26)
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers