The Good Bad News

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Original photo by Herbert Ortner

Daily Reformation, Romans 3:21-26

From the Reformer

Hence, a person who is thus smitten in his heart, by God, to confess that he is one who, on account of his sins, must be condemned, is like the righteous man whom with the first words of this Gospel God wounds, and because of that wound fixes upon him the band or cord of his divine grace, by which he draws him, so that he must seek help and counsel for his soul. Before he could not obtain any help or counsel from God, nor did he ever desire it; but now he finds the first comfort and promise of God, which Luke 2:10 records thus: “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” From such promises will he ever continue to gain courage as long as he lives, and will ever win greater and greater confidence in God. Just as soon as he hears that grace is the work of God alone, he will desire it of God as from the hand of his gracious Father, who wishes to draw him. Now, if he is drawn by God to Christ, he will certainly experience what the Lord here says: “He will raise him up in the last day.” For he has laid hold upon the Word of God and trusts God. In this he has a sure sign that he is one whom God has drawn, as John says in his First Epistle (5:10): “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him.”

—Martin Luther, Assorted Sermons, “On Faith & Coming to Christ”

Pulling It Together

You are a sinner and thus, condemned to infinity without God and the resultant peace and abundance that only he can provide in eternity. That is miserable news at first glance but a wonderful warning once one really considers its meaning. When one understands his plight he is in the best situation to deal with it. If a man is so mentally incapable that he ignores the fact that he is drowning, then he will do so quickly. If however, he is aware of his predicament then he might at least cry out for help. This is, of course, what the sinner does; he cries out for help to the only One who can save him. Yet if he were never told he was drowning, he would have died in the abyss of his sin.

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

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