Vain Faith

Daily Reform, Day 189

Galatians 2:21 & Matthew 19:16-22

From the Reformer

We will always affirm with Paul that either Christ died in vain, or else the Law cannot justify us. But Christ did not suffer and die in vain. Hence, the Law does not justify.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

If righteousness comes by the law and good works and morality and religion and tradition, then Christ died in vain. If any of this religiosity must be added to God’s grace, Christ died in vain. That is what the Apostle Paul teaches. Yet even a person who believes that they must add good, religious deeds to God’s grace believes that Christ did not die in vain. It must then be concluded that they do not actually believe the scriptures but instead, some mixture of scripture and tradition. It is a vain faith indeed that believes one can add a single thing to the accomplishment of Christ’s cross. At least the rich young man (Matt 19:22) knew he could not do what was required for eternal life.

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

Leave a Reply