To Ponder:


Reformation Lesson for the Day (from Dr. Rick Daniels) One of the great services that Martin Luther rendered to Christianity was to draw the distinction between preaching Christ as an example, and preaching Christ as a gift. Yes, we should see Christ as an example of what we should be, and how we should live, but if we really and only see Him as such it will bring us down, because it will reveal how greatly we have fallen short of what God requires. But, when we see Christ as a gift to sinners like us, entrusting ourselves to Him we receive everything God requires. Then, being reconciled to God, we can follow His example in loving God and others. As Luther put it, “The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize Him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own. This means that when you see or hear of Christ doing or suffering something, you do not doubt that Christ Himself, with His deeds and suffering, belongs to you. On this you may depend as surely as if you had done it yourself; indeed as if you were Christ Himself. See, this is what it means to have a proper grasp of the gospel, that is, of the overwhelming goodness of God, which neither prophet, nor apostle, nor angel was ever able fully to express, and which no heart could adequately fathom or marvel at. This is the great fire of the love of God for us, whereby the heart and conscience become happy, secure, and content. This is what preaching the Christian faith means.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 35:p.117)

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