St. Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Rom 1:16-17)
Passionate, impetuous, demanding, sensitive and pessimistic in temperament, Martin Luther had never been able to find inner peace. He could not overcome his sense of guilt despite all his good works, prayers, penances, and alms.
His confessor advised him to read Romans. No more historically momentous advice was ever given by a confessor. In Romans, Luther discovered the simple bombshell truth that God had forgiven his sins freely, not because of Luther’s works in Germany but because of Christ’s work on Calvary. That discovery freed Luther’s spirit and ignited a fire that swept over Europe. The watchword of the Reformation became Saint Paul’s summary of the gospel: “The just (justified, saved) shall live (have eternal life) by faith (in Christ)” (Rom 1:17).
Prayer: Lord, create in us a renewed passion for the Gospel for the glory of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Thomas W. Corbell,
Pastor of Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church in Statesville, NC.