Claiming to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:22-23
Human reason can’t quite identify, God correctly. Reason knows that there is a God, but it can’t figure out which god is the true God. This is exactly what happened to the Jewish leaders while Christ was on earth. John the Baptist plainly told them that Christ was present. They knew that Christ was living among them and walking among the people. But they couldn’t tell which person it was. Hardly any of them could believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ.
In a similar way, human reason plays “blindman’s bluff” with God. Reason always makes foolish mistakes and keeps on missing the mark. It calls something god that isn’t really God and can’t quite identify the real God. If reason didn’t have any awareness of God’s existence, it wouldn’t attempt to identify God. If reason knew exactly who God was, it wouldn’t mistakenly identify something else as god. Reason just blurts out, calls something god, and gives divine honor to its own concept of god. By doing so, it misses the true God and instead finds the devil – or its own idea of god, which is ruled by the devil.
There’s a big difference between knowing there is a God who exists and knowing who that God is. All of creation teaches us that there is a God. This is already written on all of our hearts. But only the Holy Spirit can teach us who that God is.
Edited by James C. Galvin
Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:
Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther
Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.