Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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October 11 – By Faith Alone

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith.”  Rom. 3:21-25

Devotional Thought For The Day

In the preceding verses the apostle has demonstrated that this is the only way any human being can have hope of being saved from sin and guilt, reconciled to God, and given the blessed, assured hope of eternal life in heaven.  He concludes his argument about “human righteousness,” the righteousness we are able to attain through our deeds, our keeping of God’s law, with these words:  “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'” [Rom. 3:9-12]

None of us likes to face and acknowledge the reality of our sin.  It is dark, dismal, and depressing.  Our natural inclination is to take up certain acts which we deem to be good [and some may in fact conform to God’s instruction about external behavior] and assert that we have done them well, without sin, that we are able to do good and have done good – in contradiction to God’s Word.  We excuse away any guilt and weakness left in these deeds and conclude that we’re really not so bad. We salve our conscience and commend ourselves to God in this way – when His judgment, the truth, continues to bear witness to the reality: “None is righteous, no, not one   . . . no one does good, not even one.”

God’s provision of forgiveness, cleansing from sin in Jesus’ blood, and His “accounted” righteousness granted to us through faith in Jesus Christ as His gracious and free gift to us, is the only way any human being can be saved and reconciled to God.  “All have sinned” and the same number – all “have been justified as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith.”  It is the gift of God, procured by Christ, through the propitiation by His blood, and it is received by faith, and faith alone. This may seem remarkable to us, incredible, even unbelievable – but it is our first opportunity to see God as He truly is, full of love for us and devotion to our good and blessedness and eternal salvation.  It is this vision of His love [by faith], which is free and gracious, in Christ Jesus, in His suffering, death, and resurrection, that begins and empowers new life, renewal, and transformation in those who believe. The gift of His Sacramental meal – the very Words with which He gives it to us – keeps us focused on this blessed reality.

To cling to our own “goodness,” rejecting God’s Word of judgment upon our sin, is not only calling God a liar, but it is also rejecting His gift – of forgiveness, life, and salvation in Christ Jesus, by not receiving it in faith, but refusing it in unbelief.  Again, this is the kind of thinking and concluding that comes naturally to us, and seems reasonable to us – such is our mental and spiritual darkness that we reject reality, including the reality of God’s great salvation.  So we thank God for His Word and His Spirit, by which we come to know and believe His great love for us, so that we too confess that “Jesus is Lord.”  May we submit fully to His Word that we remain humbly and joyfully in His gracious salvation!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your compassion and love in being our Savior, and providing for us all that is needed for salvation and reconciliation with God, all that is impossible for us to provide for ourselves.  Grant us ever greater joy in Your gracious love, and in Your salvation, that by faith we continue in the way that leads to eternal life. Give us increasing freedom and joy through the transformation that comes by truly seeing You and knowing You by faith.  Amen.