October 31, 2016
Only one more year until Martin Luther’s hammer has it’s 500th birthday. J On this day in 1517 he nailed 95 Theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. In a nutshell, he was seeking to debate the Roman Catholic church’s doctrine that basically stated that one’s good works, obedience to the law, and the giving of their money, can have impact on their salvation and the salvation of others. Granted, there is much more to this pivotal point in history, but for the sake of this day’s blog, I’ll stay focused here and examine the importance of today’s Scripture connection. (NOTE: If you read through this blog on Facebook, please click the WOW icon so I know that you actually read it. I’m curious who simply clicks Like without reading it.)
“By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” This verse is just one of the many that speak to God’s work on our behalf and the freedom we have because of what He has accomplished for us. Through the work of Jesus, living the perfect life, dying the sacrificial death, rising from the dead and ascending to heaven in authority and power (not to mention the fact that He has promised to return on the Last Day), we have freedom and life. We are free to live…to run…to dance…to work…to drink…to have sex…to be educated…to go fishing…to enjoy music…to worship the giver of all good gifts! Oh, the freedoms are basically endless. Yes, we can enjoy this life. Yet, there is a warning.
A warning comes in these verses as the Holy Spirit through St. Paul reminds us that although we are free FROM sin, we are not free TO sin. St. Paul says it better when he writes, “You were called to freedom. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature (flesh); rather, serve one another in love”(v. 13). I see this in our society and I see this in my own life. Some simple examples are: I’m not free to commit murder…to deceive others as a politician or clergy…to have sex with anyone I want…to drink until I’m drunk…to be greedy…etc. Dear friends, I am no better in keeping the law than you are. Nevertheless, we are not called to align our life with things of this world that we know are contrary to God’s law and design. Even though we live in a sinful world we are not to indulge the sinful flesh. Instead, let us seek and rejoice in God’s plan for our lives.
If you are reading this and find yourself in the midst of indulging in sinful living, please know the love of God is there for you. It’s all found in Jesus Christ. Through His work on the cross, He has paid the price for your sin and the Holy Spirit is given so you can believe and trust His word.
This is the good news of the Reformation. The Church rediscovered the work of God in Christ Jesus. This is the good news of the Reformation. The Church rediscovered the freedom Jesus has won for us. We don’t need to seek living by the law in order to obtain God’s love. Grace and Mercy are abundant with God! Alleluia! Praise God for forgiveness! In this forgiveness, let us live for Him on this Reformation Day (and all future Oct 31st) .
PRAYER: Almighty God, send Your Holy Spirit to abundantly move on the hearts of those who seek You, including lil’ ol’ me. Strengthen us to live for you in this fallen, broken world. Help us today, to not only pass out candy to the children this Halloween, but to share the love of Jesus with them as well. Amen.