The Promise

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Original photo by Fady Habib

Daily Reformation, Amos 7:7-15

From the Reformer

1. The law is the doctrine that commands what is and what is not to be done.
2. The gospel is the promise of the grace of God.
3. The law demands impossible things such as the love of God and our neighbor.
4. Those who try to keep the law by their natural powers or free will simulate only the external works; they do not give expression to those attitudes which the law demands.
5. Therefore, they do not satisfy the law, but they are hypocrites, “whitewashed tombs,” as Christ calls them in Matthew 23:27. Galatians 3:10 says: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse.

—Philip Melancthon, Loci Communes Theologici

Pulling It Together

The worst news a person may receive is that he is a sinner, condemned before God. He may not think it so bad except for its eternal consequences. Though it is the worst news of all, it may still be the second-best information he ever gets. This difficult word, “sinner,” is but a word away from, “saved.” The hard law is necessary to show you your need. Once received for what it is, the humble penitent may kneel at the feet of that High King of eternity and expect grace, redemption, and perfect love. That is a promise.

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

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