Staying with God

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Christus Statue by Midiman

Daily Reformation, John 15:9-17

From the Reformer

Jerome thinks that Paul is playing upon the name Galatians, deriving it from the Hebrew word Galath, which means fallen or carried away, as though Paul wanted to say, “You are true Galatians, i.e., fallen away in name and in fact.” Some believe that the Germans are descended from the Galatians. There may be something to that. For the Germans are not unlike the Galatians in their lack of constancy. At first we Germans are very enthusiastic, but presently our emotions cool and we become slack. When the light of the Gospel first came to us many were zealous, heard sermons greedily, and held the ministry of God’s Word in high esteem. But now that religion has been reformed, many who formerly were such earnest disciples have discarded the Word of God, have become sow-bellies like the foolish and inconsistent Galatians.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (3:6)

Pulling It Together

God has chosen you and will keep you steady and fruitful. Yet just as salvation is by faith (Eph 2:8), so is stability. You will not keep the faith unless you say with the disciples, “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5) God increases faith through his word. When trials come, how is faith kept except by that same word? This is how God chooses to keep you; there is no other way. You cannot stay with God because you choose to do so, but because he keeps you—and this is done through the faith building agency of his word. If you do not refresh and build up your faith in his word, you will eventually find yourself floundering, for it is through that word that God chooses to keep his flock.

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

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