Daily Reform, Day 131
Galatians 2:17 & Romans 6:20-23
From the Reformer
Either we are not justified by Christ, or we are not justified by the Law. The fact is, we are justified by Christ. Hence, we are not justified by the Law. If we observe the Law in order to be justified, or after having been justified by Christ, we think we must further be justified by the Law, we convert Christ into a legislator and a minister of sin.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
We must be vigilant not to mix Law and Gospel in matters of justification. If the Law is able to produce righteousness in a person, then why would one need Jesus? Either his work on the cross redeems or it does not. If Christ is unable to justify us by faith then he is useless and we must endeavor to be justified by our works.
Yet Jesus did indeed set us free from the guilt of sin and from the penalty we deserve for our sinning. Jesus shattered the shackles of our bondage to the Law, making us truly good and righteous by his own goodness and righteousness. It has nothing to do with law-keeping; it is the free gift of God in Christ. (Rom 6:23)
Be ever on your guard to not mingle Law and Gospel, “for if righteousness could be gained through the Law, Christ died for nothing.” (Gal 2:21)
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers