God bestows on us many good gifts. Husband or wife, parents or children, home and property, birds, animals and more are all good gifts. But not all good gifts are able to save us, to make us righteous before God and holy in His sight. The Law also is a very good gift, but it cannot save us. The Law is a good gift, but it is powerless to bestow a righteousness and holiness that will last forever.
The Law can teach us what good is in God’s sight, but it can never make us good before God. The Law can show us what “good” looks like, but stands powerless to deliver it. The Law can define “good” and point us to where it is present–and where it is lacking. True goodness, righteousness, holiness before God is found only in the Gospel. Only by faith in Christ and His blood shed on the cross do we acquire His own goodness, righteousness and holiness as a free gift. By faith alone, God gives his Holy Spirit freely to all who believe, apart from works of the Law. (Galatians 3:1-6, 14)
Into the midst of disciples bickering about which is better or greater than the next, which has earned or done more than the next, there Christ calls an unnamed child to stand. With no boast of accomplishments, expertise or personal excellence to his name or credit–with no right or claim to superiority of any kind under the Law, this child is called by Christ and freely receives His gift of honor and standing among His disciples as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Christ is pleased to bestow His goodness upon all freely, as Faith Alone Works in Humility Willing to Learn and receive it apart from the Law.
Hear the full audio of “Faith Alone Works in Humility Willing to Learn“
A sermon on Psalm 119:65-72 and Galatians 3:1-6
With reference to Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article VI, par. 9-14
Midweek Lent 4, 22 March 2017