Excluding the Gospels, I have probably heard more sermons based on the Scriptures we read in 2 Corinthians and Romans than any others in the Bible. There are vast treasures of how to walk out this life as Christ’s own in the words of the Epistles this week. It was within these passages that Martin Luther was given his great revelation that he could not earn his salvation by works as he studied Romans. By reading Romans 1:17 (“the just shall live by faith”) Martin Luther saw the Light, and this Scripture changed the world by starting the Reformation. Through his personal freedom found in this understanding, he began to reinterpret Scripture through the lens of this great Truth, and found the truly Good News of God’s love.
2 Corinthians 9:15 – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift.”
In Martin Luther’s preface to the Book of Romans, he states “The terms “just, justice, justify” in this piece are synonymous with the terms “righteous, righteousness, make righteous.” A similar situation exists with the word “faith”; it is synonymous with “belief.” Thus, “We are justified by faith” translates the same original sentence as does “We are made righteous by belief.” The term “justification” can be seen as “just as if you never sinned”. The term “righteousness” can be seen as being “right” with God.” The world’s definition of righteousness and God’s definition have a huge expanse of love that separates a fallen world from God’s plan for us. CS Lewis puts it succinctly: “It still remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous.” Luther takes it one step further connecting Paul’s words in Romans with Hab. 2:4, “the righteous will live by his faith.” In other words, the righteousness of God in the Gospel is not God’s demand but God’s gift, not condemnation but life; and it is ours simply through faith in Christ. God counts us righteous when we believe in Him. Our righteousness is by the blood of Christ that fully cleanses as if we never sinned. The world’s righteousness comes by a mistaken sense of goodness from an endless list of tasks to vainly try to make ourselves presentable to God. Light on His Word to understand authentic righteousness brings salvation to all who believe. We can rest in our salvation because Christ alone has done the work required for personal everlasting peace. He alone is our righteousness. He alone is our salvation. He alone is our Gift by Grace. He loves us so for such an unspeakable gift.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 38-39
Let these words resonate in your heart. He loves you so.