“It is not by working, but by believing, that we glorify God, and confess Him to be true.” –Martin Luther
As we end the month of October, Halloween and All Saints Day will soon show up in the next two days. Death takes center stage in American life, with one day taking on the undead and ghoulish creatures in the exchange for Reese’s and M&M’s. The other day brings to mind those dearly departed in the faith who join the “great cloud of witnesses” of Hebrews 12.
When I hear that if I place my hope in Jesus and trust in his promise of life — that I can be release from the chains of sin and death — that my friends is something to get excited about. As I wrote last week, when we are joined with Christ, then what is ours is his and his is ours. The sin that once plagued us will be swallowed up in victory, and death itself was conquered through the triumphant resurrection (I Corinthians 15:55-57). Luther would add, “for death is swallowed up in victory, not only the victory of Christ, but ours also, since by faith it becomes ours and in it we too conquer.” Through Jesus, death has been defanged and one day it will be tossed out of God’s creation.
It is my hope that by highlighting the hope of the Christian faith through the work of Martin Luther that you might might understand a little more clearly concerning this faith. I don’t want to see that this faith is a cerebral one, or a faith that will merely warm our hearts. Instead, I want him to be a Messiah for you and me both. That what “is said of him, and what he is called, may work in us.”
Christian liberty is rooted in the confession that “Jesus is Lord,” and once that has been planted in our lives, then indeed we will be free. Freest of all people, and yet servant to all.