A Grave Sin

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Daily Reform, Day 191

Galatians 2:21 & Galatians 5:4

From the Reformer

Man’s own righteousness is in the last analysis a despising and rejecting of the grace of God. No combination of words can do justice to such an outrage. It is an insult to say that any man died in vain. But to say that Christ died in vain is a deadly insult. To say that Christ died in vain is to make His resurrection, His victory, His glory, His kingdom, heaven, earth, God Himself, of no purpose and benefit whatever.

That is enough to set any person against the righteousness of the Law and all the trimmings of men’s own righteousness, the orders of monks and friars, and their superstitions.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

There is a trend in some parts of American society to say that our soldiers do not serve for the sake of defending freedom—American or that of other countries. Instead, young men and women are said to be duped into giving their lives for political and economic purposes that have nothing to do with civil freedoms. Whether or not these claims are true, it sounds terrible when one hears another say that these brave young people have given their lives in vain. That is tragic enough but to say that Christ gave his life in vain is a grave sin. Yet that is just what we do when we think we must add the law to his sacrifice by doing good works.

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

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