God’s hand­i­work

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - ~ Contributed by Pas­tor Chris Tay­lor of De­niliquin Bap­tist Church, on be­half of the Com­bined Churches of De­niliquin.

Be­ing Hal­loween, Oc­to­ber 31 is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with pump­kins, dress­ing up in goulash cos­tumes and knock­ing on the doors in your neigh­bour­hood ask­ing for lol­lies.

But there was a par­tic­u­lar door that was knocked on 500 years ago that had a far greater im­pact than ‘‘trick or treat­ing’’.

This day, in 1517, a Ger­man monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 The­ses (dis­cus­sion points) to the door of his church.

In me­dieval times, the large wooden doors of churches acted like com­mu­nity no­tice boards.

His ac­tions that day re­ver­ber­ated through­out all of Ger­many — and even­tu­ally into Europe and rest of the world — chang­ing the face of Chris­ten­dom for­ever.

The ques­tion on Luther’s mind was quite sim­ple: ‘‘How can we be right with God?’’

His an­swer could be summed up by say­ing, by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone — and thus not by our own good works or per­sonal ef­fort.

But this an­swer pro­duced another ques­tion. If our good works can’t save us, what is the use of them?

Luther’s an­swer was that there was, in­deed, a place for works. The Chris­tian life was not to be ab­sent of do­ing good.

On the con­trary, works of all kind now had a greater sig­nif­i­cance. Freed from the bur­den of try­ing to gain and se­cure sal­va­tion through one’s own ef­fort, the be­liever now works as an ex­pres­sion of what God has done in them.

As the apos­tle Paul writes: ‘‘For we are God’s hand­i­work, cre­ated in Christ Je­sus to do good works . . .’’ (Eph 2:10).

By sav­ing us through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone, God shapes and moulds us to do good.

In ef­fect, be­ing God’s hand­i­work the good a Chris­tian does dis­plays God. Put another way, when we live God’s way it brings glory to him.

Thus, our mo­ti­va­tion changes. The Chris­tian can see their good works as a de­light and not a duty; as acts of wor­ship and in­stead acts of worry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.