This past week my small group talked at length about the all-too-often unbelievable aspect of God’s grace, namely that God gives his riches to us based not upon our merit but the achievement of his Son for us in the gospel. This is the gospel-truth from which the Christian life is lived. It affects everything we do: work, marriage, parenting, etc. Yet, mindful of its centrality, I find myself regularly forgetting to operate from this essential truth.
However, in looking over some class notes from my doctoral studies this summer, I ran across this encouraging passage from Martin Luther’s The Sum of the Christian Life:
I myself have been preaching and cultivating [grace] through reading and writing for almost twenty years and still feel the old clinging dirt of wanting to deal so with God that I may contribute something so that He will give me His grace in exchange for my holiness. Still I cannot get it into my head that I should surrender myself completely to sheer grace, yet [I know that] this is what I should and must do.
Luther’s words remind me that even the more spiritually mature can derail themselves from living out of grace. Brother Martin gives me hope knowing that even one of the men God used to restore the church to the message of grace struggled in his head with living out that very grace in his life. It proves to me once again that grace really is that amazing!