Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gates of Paradise: Evangelical Breakthrough

Happy Reformation Day!

In honour of the occasion, I leave you with these famous words of Martin Luther.

I greatly longed to understand Paul's Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, "the justice of God," because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him. Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant.

Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that "the just shall live by his faith." Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas the "justice of God" had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven...

If you have a true faith that Christ is your Saviour, then at once you have a gracious God, for faith leads you in and opens up God' s heart and will, that you should see pure grace and overflowing love. This it is to behold God in faith that you should look upon his fatherly, friendly heart, in which there is no anger nor ungraciousness. He who see God as angry does not see him rightly but look only on a curtain, as if a dark cloud had been drawn across his face.

Quoted in Roland Bainton, Here I Stand (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1950), p. 65.


H.C. Ross said...

Praise God for the Reformation! May each of us know PERSONAL reformation today and every day from here to glory.

Bridges said...

Amen and Amen. Praise God for the triumph of grace.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Dr. Luther!

The sweet sound of the Gospel to the ears of a sinners!


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