Presumption

Daily Reform, Day 178

Galatians 2:20 & 1 Peter 1:17-19

From the Reformer

Let us count the price. When you hear that such an enormous price was paid for you, will you still come along with your cowl, your shaven pate, your chastity, your obedience, your poverty, your works, your merits? What do you want with all these trappings? What good are the works of all men, and all the pains of the martyrs, in comparison with the pains of the Son of God dying on the Cross, so that there was not a drop of His precious blood, but it was all shed for your sins. If you could properly evaluate this incomparable price, you would throw all your ceremonies, vows, works, and merits into the ash can. What awful presumption to imagine that there is any work good enough to pacify God, when to pacify God required the invaluable price of the death and blood of His own and only Son?

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

It would either be an act of ignorance or arrogance for someone to offer five dollars for a Stradivarius. Such a violin is worth far, far more than a few dollars and it would be sheer presumption to expect to purchase one for such a meager sum. Yet some expect to purchase their salvation with good deeds when that is not the required cost. (Rom 6:23) The sum of all of humanity’s good works is not comparable to the priceless gift of God in Christ.

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

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