Crossing Thresholds

Daily Reform, Day 212

Galatians 3:2 and Romans 2:6-11

From the Reformer

Now as God gave the Holy Ghost to the Gentiles without the Law by the simple preaching of the Gospel, so He gave the Holy Ghost also to the Jews, without the Law, through faith alone. If the righteousness of the Law were necessary unto salvation, the Holy Ghost would never have come to the Gentiles, because they did not bother about the Law. Hence the Law does not justify, but faith in Christ justifies.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Isn’t it great that God doesn’t just love Americans? Or for that matter, Jews? God shows no partiality. (Rom 2:11) Be clear on this point though; this is a law statement. Everyone who does evil will suffer God’s wrath since he shows no partiality. (Rom 2:9) The Gospel brings us into a new understanding of the law. In a defining moment, the Apostle Peter, a Jew, was sent by God to a Gentile’s home. Now, a law-abiding Jew would never set foot into a Gentile’s house but Peter understood that there is a greater purpose in the law. The law was used to drive people to God’s grace. So there he was on the front porch of Cornelius, a Gentile, asking himself whether he should keep a Pharisaical particular of the law or step inside and share the Gospel. Because Peter knew God was no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), he crossed the threshold.

We too, must cross a threshold, believing God to be no respecter of persons but instead, the lover of the world. It was for this cherished world that the Son of God crossed the threshold from heaven to earth and paid the law’s penalty of death so that all people might live—not by keeping the law but by believing.

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

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