Numbers 16:1–19; Romans 3:21–31; Matthew 19:13–22
“What good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ was a question a young man once posed to Jesus. In Martin Luther’s time, that same question was echoed by Christians who thought they could “earn” salvation by good works. Based on his careful study of Romans, Luther responded that good works do not earn salvation. Rather, if by faith a sinner is joined to Christ then God declares that person righteous for Christ’s sake.
Today we still meet people who are concerned about being “good enough” to go to heaven. Troubled by some past misdeed or lack of piety, these people need to hear and believe the basic Christian message. “Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:23-24 RSV).
World events, social concerns, and church disagreements can distract us from the importance of God’s free gift of salvation in Christ. Once we turn to the Lord for salvation, let us also focus on sharing that message and living as Christians in our world. Works do not save us but we can honor our Savior through lives of Christian love and obedience.
Prayer: We give thanks, Lord, for your precious gift of salvation, and ask you to strengthen us in faith and guide us to honor and serve you today. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by John W. Krueger, Chaplain, Appleton Medical Center, Appleton, WI.