through faith, not through works01-11-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
Today, it is October 31 and it was on this date in 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the door of the chapel at Wittenberg. It was the beginning of the Reformation. In opposition to tradition and Church doctrine, Luther postulated: only Scripture! And in opposition to the idea of working (earning merits), Luther postulated: only grace. By reading the epistle of Romans written by Paul, Luther came to these discoveries. A third pillar of the Reformation is the motto: “faith alone”. Luther understood that the apostle Paul consistently placed faith in opposition to works (=earning merits; Rom.4:4). Faith, i.e. trusting God is not an accomplishment of a human being. Trusting is not something you appropriate on your own, but receive. You receive faith (trusting) by it being aroused and imparted. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul calls faith a gift from God. Faith comes by hearing the Word (Rom.10:17). God convinces (active) and a human being becomes convinced (passive). He opens hearts (Acts 16:14) and makes people believe. That’s all His achievement. Therefore, God reckons faith for righteousness.