July 23

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

We need to learn how to clearly distinguish the laws given through Moses from the grace that came through Christ.  We must always keep the role of Christ separate from the role of Moses and make a clear distinction between the two.  We need to know precisely what purpose each one fulfills so that we don’t become confused.  I was confused about this distinction myself for over thirty years.  I just couldn’t believe that Christ wanted to show his kindness to me.

The first commandment teaches us that God wants us to sincerely trust him.  Yet we also must fear him above everything else.  In other words, Christians are like children who have been punished but who still love their father and are confident their father still loves them. The good works required by the first commandment are far better than wearing special clothes, fasting, praying, and all the other good works religious people have invented.  So the good works required by the first commandment are holy and must be obeyed.  But who can live up to them?  Certainly no one can completely obey the first commandment.  Everyone is a sinner except for Christ.

Christ, however, comes to us and says, “I have shed my blood for you.  My blood cries out on your behalf.”  Out of his grace and kindness, he brings us the forgiveness of our sins at no cost to us whatsoever.

Martin Luther: Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.

The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

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