Theology Thursday

“Faith lays hold of Christ and grasps Him as a present possession, just as the ring holds the jewel.”
Martin Luther

What makes Christianity so different from every other religion? What is perhaps the greatest difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism? It is this, that salvation is found in sola fide (faith alone).

In every other major religious system, it is your works or merits which decide your standing before God. But the Bible declares something very different.

Firstly, if we were to be judged on our good works, then none merit salvation. As Romans 3:10, “none is righteous, no not one” and Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” remind us. To be judged according to our own merits is to be condemned.

But the Bible declares that salvation can be received only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus was perfectly righteous. He was good like God was good. He measures up to God’s standard of good. And by His grace, Jesus offers to extend His righteousness to us, covering our sins with His own perfection.

But this gift needs to be received by faith. To be technical and clear, it’s not that our faith is what makes us worthy of salvation. It’s that our faith receives Christ who makes us worthy of salvation.

Jesus would throw His perfect white robe over us, if only we would trust Him by standing still and receiving it.

What place then has doing good works? Well, as Luther said, “faith gives Christ to me; love flowing from faith gives me to my neighbour.” The righteousness and goodness of Jesus is catchy. It flows from Him to us and through thanksgiving, hope, love, peace and more, we begin to approach our neighbour as Jesus did. Not to earn salvation, but as a result of it and response to it.

For Today:
  • Do you see that if you were judged on your works - you would be condemned?
  • Do you have faith in Christ?
  • How is faith resulting in good works in your life? How could it today?
Pray: Praise the Father, for the gift of Christ. Give thanks for Jesus, for His obedience and goodness. Ask God for His Holy Spirit to help you and others have faith in Christ and do the good works that flow from faith.

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