Daily Reform, Day 148

Galatians 2:18 & Romans 11:17-26

From the Reformer

We conclude with Paul, that we are justified by faith in Christ, without the Law. Once a person has been justified by Christ, he will not be unproductive of good, but as a good tree he will bring forth good fruit. A believer has the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will not permit a person to remain idle, but will put him to work and stir him up to the love of God, to patient suffering in affliction, to prayer, thanksgiving, to the habit of charity towards all men.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

I once tried to transplant a crepe myrtle tree and found out that the tap root went very deep. I could not dig low enough to get the entire root and ended up cutting through the root, though I succeeded in getting what I hoped was most of it. The transplanted tree died quickly, no matter how much I nursed it. A month later, a new crepe myrtle grew from the original root. That tree is still thriving.

Faith is the root of the Christian life of grace. As long as the root is good, the tree can be healthy. We must be careful not to consider our works part of the root system of God’s grace. Our good works will never make grace flourish. Works are the fruit of a healthy root system. If works are missing, you may well wonder if you are rooted in Christ at all, because if you are rooted by grace, the Spirit of God will bring forth the fruit of love and good works.

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

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