July 22

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Christians are truly humble when they genuinely feel their sin and recognize that they are worthy of the wrath and judgment of God and eternal death.  So in this life, Christians will be humbled, which makes them turn to Christ.  By turning to Christ, they can pull themselves out from under this feeling of God’s wrath and judgment.  Christians believe that any remaining sin is not counted against them.  They also believe that they are loved by the Father.  Christians are loved, not for their own sake, but for the sake of Christ—the one whom God loves.

From this it becomes clear how faith justifies us without works.  It becomes clear why we still need Christ’s righteousness credited to us.  The sin, which God thoroughly hates, remains is us.  Because this sin still remains in us, Christ’s righteousness must be credited to us.  God gives us that righteousness for the sake of Christ—the one given to us, the one we grasp by faith.

Meanwhile on this earth, we still have sin and godless people.  Even believers continue in sin.  That’s why Paul, in Romans 7:23, complains about how believers still have sin with them.  Yet Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Who can reconcile these diametrically opposed statements: that the sin in us is not sinful, that those worthy of condemnation will not be condemned, that the wicked will not be rejected, that those worthy of wrath and eternal death will not be punished?  The only one who can reconcile these is the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).  As Paul says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

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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