Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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May 24 – The Blessings Of Faith [True Faith]

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached  the Gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, ‘In thee shall all nations be blessed.’  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.’  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, ‘The just shall live by faith.'” Gal. 3:8-11

Devotional Thought For The Day

It is the greatest theological issue, and the greatest existential issue in human spirituality.  There are but two options presented in Holy Scripture, two choices: faith . . . or works of the law.  Everyone will relate to God on the basis of either “faith” or “works of the law.” The two are mutually exclusive – it is either one or the other.  It is either faith or works.  What does faith grasp, or hold to?  “That God would justify the heathen through faith” – faith that “in Abraham,” that is, “in his Seed” [Jesus Christ] “shall all nations be blessed.” Blessed with “justification,” which is the declaration that we are “righteous” in the sight of God. “For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT COUNTING THEIR TRESPASSES AGAINST THEM . . . for He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God.” [2 Cor. 5:19-21]

Faith, according to Holy Scripture, God’s own Word, is trust in this gracious and merciful kindness and goodness of God – this good news [Gospel] that God has forgiven our sins, and accounted us to be righteous in His sight because of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection for us. So, faith cannot trust in one’s works of the law, one’s own goodness, but rather it always trust in God’s grace, His undeserved kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and love.  So the contrast is also between God’s grace – which faith grasps, and works; as the Holy Spirit explains in Rom. 11:6 – “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”  The two are mutually exclusive – it is either one or the other; it cannot be both/and.  All must decide – they will either work, and trust in their work, or they will have faith, and trust in God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.

What is the outcome of each of these two ways?  These are also in quite sharp contrast.  “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”  On the other hand, “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.'”  So, faith = blessedness, eternal life and salvation [Jn. 3:16]; BUT works = accursedness, for it is clear and evident that no mere human being can continue in all things written in the book of the law, no mere human being can “be perfect.” [see also Jn. 3:36] Scripture is plain: “by works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” [Gal. 2:16] So the Holy Spirit concludes the argument: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, ‘The just shall live by faith.'”

Does this mean that people of faith do no good works, or are opposed to good works, or hate good works?  Absolutely not!  Knowing that they are already justified by the goodness, love, kindness, and mercy of God, that they already have eternal life and salvation by the grace of God THROUGH FAITH ALONE, they are eager and joyful to freely express their love of God and the Lord Jesus Christ by doing His good will – all good things which He has instructed in His Word!  They do so NOT to be justified, NOT to gain salvation, NOT to get blessings – but precisely because they ALREADY HAVE all of these things THROUGH FAITH ALONE. In contrast, those who trust in works are working for the wrong reasons – for themselves, to get these blessings, selfishly [if they are honest]; and so they remain under the curse, incapable of love which is the fulfilling of the law.

Take care, dear friends, for the devil is ever perverting the Word of God, pushing “works of law” righteousness and justification in our faces – and actually misquoting God’s Word, as He did with Jesus in His temptation [see Matt. 4:1-11].  He is constantly arguing against faith – as he has always opposed God’s Word and God’s will, and offered alternatives to mankind. For his will is that we be under the curse, as he is – rather than salvation, and the blessedness of faith. Those who follow him, who are under this curse, do the same. But the Word of God is clear – “the just shall live by faith.” Thanks and praise be to God, the gracious and loving God of our salvation!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, deliver those captured in the devil’s darkness, who are so deluded that they think they can commend themselves to You by their works of the law, their good works – and so have rejected Your gracious mercy and salvation in unbelief. Strengthen and confirm all of Your dear children of faith – so that convinced of Your great love for us we also eagerly and zealously love You in all manner of good works of genuine love. Amen.