image24

  

We spend a life time trying to be and do something significant. In the end it is what God has done for us that truly matters. The apostle Paul spent his life telling others about what God did for him and what God can do for us.


One of his students Paul told his story to  was a young man named Timothy. One of the first things he taught Timothy was to be wary of those who claim to be authorities but whose teaching leads to false doctrines. "Let your teaching result from love for who God is. And this knowledge will come to you by faith," Paul tells young Timothy.  This will happen when "through grace you behold the glory of God, revealed through Jesus Christ." 

We usually think of this happening in worship, which is true. And what is the worship of God if it is not spending time in His Word.  One of the rich blessings of worship is our studying Hebrews. The following is quoted from Reformation Heritage Bible Commentary on the book of Hebrews, written by Steven P. Mueller. 


“Jesus Christ is our mediator, our throne of grace, and our bishop before God in heaven, who daily intercedes for us and reconciles all who believe in him alone, and who call upon him; that he is not a judge, nor cruel, except for those who do not believe in him, or who reject his comfort and grace; [and] that he is not the man who accuses and threatens us, but rather the man who reconciles us [with God] , and intercedes for us with his own death and blood shed for us so that we should not fear him, but approach him with all assurance and call him dear Savior, sweet Comforter, faithful bishop of our souls, etc. (LW 50:20-21)” 




Vita Passiva

Standing out in the country cemetery where our next to the oldest child is buried I tried to envision what it will be like when Christ comes again to take her home to be with Him. It’s going to happen just as the Word of God says.


For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16

We can only imagine what will happen when time is no more.

Martin Luther has these encouraging words for the young who are concerned about preparing for that which is beyond time. 

Luther’s answer is found in Christ. 

“Christ came to create a path for us to eternity by making us righteous in the sight of God. In one’s relationship with Jesus Christ it is one’s hope in the righteousness Christ has won for one that strengthens one against an eternity without God."

This is not a righteousness attained but freely given to us. Living daily in this world it draws us to itself. We have no defense against it because we are part of it. Keeping in touch every day with Jesus reminds us daily that He comes into our lives as we live them in this world. He works the faith in us unto righteousness. This very issue is what Martin Luther brought to our awareness. Being justified before God is not of our doing, its according to the promise God has made to us. 

The words of promise are delivered to us personally through the Word of God as the Holy Spirit guides us into faith. Luther refers to this relationship as vita passiva meaning a child-like trust in what Christ is doing for us.  We cannot prove ourselves worthy of anything from God.  We can only  receive the life He gives us through faith.  sola fide.