April 30

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. John 3:13

Only Christ would be able to testify to a truth this remarkable.  How can human reason make sense of this strange teaching, or how can it understand how it all fits together?  How can Jesus come down from heaven and at the same time live above?  How can Jesus ascend back to heaven and yet continually be in heaven?  No one could have conceived of such a thought, whether in the heart or in the mind.  Human reason says it’s impossible for someone to descend from heaven and be in heaven at the same time. That is why Christians are considered foolish.  We believe something directly contrary to reason.

Whoever has a difficult time believing that Christ can come from heaven and yet be in heaven shouldn’t worry about it.  It doesn’t matter if we can’t grasp this truth right away.  If we are considered fools because of believing this, our foolishness won’t hurt us.  For Christians are certainly not foolish.  We know perfectly well what we believe.  We know where we can find counsel and help in all situations. We know we will live eternally after we have been delivered from this world.

But if some people refuse to believe this truth, then they should leave it alone.  Instead, they want to figure it out.  These people want to resolve the paradox in their own crazy head—first this way, then that way.  All of them think they will find God by figuring it out, but they won’t.

However, you must hold tightly to the testimony that was brought down from heaven by Jesus, God’s Son.  You must believe it, for all Christians dare to believe what Jesus says.

Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional

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.

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