Daily Reform, Day 226
Galatians 3:3 and Psalm 49:5-13
From the Reformer
The righteousness of the Law which Paul also terms the righteousness of the flesh is so far from justifying a person that those who once had the Holy Spirit and lost Him, end up in the Law to their complete destruction.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
No wonder Paul uses the word “foolish.” And that was being nice. So many other words could have been used to describe people who traded God’s grace for their own efforts. Ask yourself what you would rather depend upon: faith in God’s grace or faith in your deeds. The choice seems clear at first but it is difficult to carry through. Soon enough, you will be telling yourself, “This can’t be it. There must be something more, something I have to do.” Then you will begin building a temple to the flesh. The priest of that temple will promise you the religious feelings you crave, as long as you keep your focus upon your efforts instead of upon God. We see how inherently wrong this approach is but we fall for it because we desire the foolish confidence that our efforts bring. Faith does not always bring the emotion we are looking for, so we turn to something that does. Instead, we should be turning to God. Anything else is foolish.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with Luther in Galatians