I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, ‘The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.’ (verses 16,17)
Read Romans 1:16–27
Martin Luther, the great medieval reformer, was concerned with the question, ‘How can I be certain that, when I die, God will accept me into heaven?’ He tried the path of good deeds. He thought that by becoming a monk, observing the harshest rules of the monastery and doing everything that his superiors asked of him he would be able to be certain that God was pleased to accept him.
But he never found peace that way. He found peace only when the Holy Spirit revealed to him the truth found in this text from Romans. God puts people right with himself when they put their trust in Jesus. Salvation is obtained through faith from beginning to end. Luther fastened on these words from the prophet Malachi: ‘The person who is put right with God through faith shall live’. ‘Thereupon’, Luther said, ‘I felt myself to have been reborn and to have passed through the open gates of Paradise’.
The gospel is God’s power to save all who believe. What a wonderful comfort that is to each of us. We can be certain of our salvation not because of our good works but because of faith in Christ, which the Holy Spirit creates in our hearts through the Scriptures.
Holy Spirit, thank you for the faith you have given me to believe in Jesus Christ. Keep my faith alive until faith turns to sight. Amen.
by Kevin Schmidt, in ‘Refreshment for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2003)
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