Daily Reform, Day 141
Galatians 2:17 & 1 John 1:5-10
From the Reformer
All who say that faith alone in Christ does not justify a person, convert Christ into a minister of sin, a teacher of the Law, and a cruel tyrant who requires the impossible. All merit-seekers take Christ for a new lawgiver.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
The overarching doctrine of the New Testament is that God in human flesh came to save sinners and that he did so through his death and resurrection. This triumph over the grave was accomplished by the incarnate God who thus paid the penalty of humans breaking his Law. (Rom 3:20) Time and again Jesus and the apostles insist there is nothing for us to do but believe. (John 11:25-26; Acts 16:31)
To say that something else needs to be added to belief in Christ in order for a person to be justified before God is to call Jesus a liar, for he is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins. (1 John 1:9-10) This was fully accomplished by Jesus and requires no individual worthiness. Jesus is all the merit a sinner needs.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers