Dear saints of God, the readings for this Reformation Sunday are as follows: John 8:31-36; Romans 3:19-28; Revelation 14:6-7; Psalm 46.
Martin Luther – the 16th century monk for whom our church body is named – lived in spiritual misery throughout his early adult years. Why? Because he could never be sure that he had done ENOUGH for God. Does that sound familiar to you? I believe it’s an issue that every Christian, no matter church body they belong to, grapples with in life. If I take seriously the Bible’s teachings on heaven and hell and the coming day of judgment, and if I take seriously my own sinfulness in the face of God’s holy expectations, how can I be sure that God will accept me on that day?
The Bible readings for Sunday all point to the answer that was so transformative for Luther and for Christians still today. The good that we do is never ENOUGH to earn God’s favor. Only Christ can be our ENOUGH. Only he could meet the impeccable standard set by our holy, perfect God. Only under the cover of Christ’s righteousness do we find shelter from the righteous wrath of God.
This is the truth spoken of by Jesus “that will set you free” from the trap of trying to save yourself (John 8). When Luther read about “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” he said he felt as if the doors of heaven itself were being thrown wide open for him (Romans 8). So if Jesus is indeed our ENOUGH before God, then the first and best way to “give him glory” (Rev 14) is to acknowledge that our salvation is in His hands. And I can’t think of a better place for it to be. Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be the glory!