Daily Reformation, Job 38:22-34
About the Reformer
…reconciliation has no meaning apart from guilt which must stir the anger of a holy God and produce separation from Him. That is, the reconciliation rests upon a justification, upon an atonement. Those were the great Pauline ideas which were rediscovered in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and became the backbone of the Reformation. They were practically rediscovered. Look at the movement in the history of the Church’s thought in this respect. You have three great points: you might name them—the first from Augustine, the second from Luther; for the third, our modern time, we have as yet no such outstanding name. The first great movement towards the rediscovery of Paul was by Augustine. Do you know that Paul went under after the first century? He went under for historic reasons I cannot stay to explain. It is a remarkable thing how he was kept in the canon of Scripture. Paul went under, and for centuries remained under, and he had to be rediscovered. That was done by Augustine. Again he went under, and Luther rediscovered him. And he is being rediscovered again today. Augustine’s rediscovery was this, justification by grace alone; Luther’s side of the rediscovery was justification by faith alone—faith in the Cross, that is to say, faith in grace. What is our modern point of emphasis?
—Peter Taylor Forsyth, The Work of Christ
Pulling It Together
Two themes thread their way through human history and are sewn together by the grace of God: sin and salvation. From the very beginning, people sinned and from the beginning, God’s holiness covered them. It should have been their skins in the garden, but God covered their naked sin with the skins of animal sacrifice. It should have been their lives in the flood but he brought them through the water in the ark of promise.
People today are no less culpable and needy. How many times has God seen you through your sin, covering you as it were, with a flood of baptism and forgiveness, a blanket of grace, a blessed covering for your guilt? How many times has it been, not just the grace of God but, the sheer strength of God that has seen you through the flooding guilt? How often he has covered you and carried you through to a brighter future—despite what might have or should have buried you. Who else has the power to act on your behalf, and has—and will again?
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers