Daily Reform, Day 172
Galatians 2:20 & Hebrews 13:16
From the Reformer
A Christian uses earthly means like any unbeliever. Outwardly they look alike. Nevertheless there is a great difference between them. I may live in the flesh, but I do not live after the flesh. I do my living now “by the faith of the Son of God.” Paul had the same voice, the same tongue, before and after his conversion. Before his conversion his tongue uttered blasphemies. But after his conversion his tongue spoke a spiritual, heavenly language.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
There are even dramatic differences from one Christian to the next. Some have spectacular testimonies and lives while some are not very exciting and even sometimes seem not to even be Christian. This is one reason why the writer of Hebrews says we should not neglect to do good; it is indeed very possible for the Christian to not do good! While the Christian should endeavor to do good deeds, the most meaningful evidence of Christian faith however, is not seen in exterior actions. It should not be surprising that the real testimony of faith is the witness of the Holy Spirit. That believer who fails time and again to look like a Christian but keeps her faith in Christ when she looks faithless, is a great Christian. She may have the greatest testimony of all. Despite her constant (or so it seems to her) failures, she keeps her faith. The ability to stay with Christ in the midst of personal weakness and even spiritual despair is a Spirit-enabled power. It is called faith. Such true faith may eventually effect an outward change as well, whether she notices or not.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers