Daily Devotional: Wednesday, 11 January 2017

  • In NEWS
  • January 11, 2017
Daily Devotional: Wednesday, 11 January 2017

By Faith alone: Responding to God’s offer

27 Then what can we boast about doing to earn our salvation? Nothing at all. Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds; it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in him. 28 So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do (Romans 3: 27-28 TLB).

 Additional passage: Luke 5: 1-11

  The 4th Sola, “by faith alone”, is an appropriate response to God’s offer to us. We all know the feeling of giving a present to someone and waiting apprehensively for their reaction. We hope desperately that the gift will be noticed, accepted and appreciated, and that the gift itself is suitable for the recipient. So how does God’s gift work? Paul says here in Romans that we can only receive God’s gift by trusting Him in faith. There are always the same old misconceptions about what “faith” really means. This is what Paul is tackling in the verses above. The first misunderstanding is “boasting”. This is when faith in God is seen as a “pious achievement”. The problem here is that too much importance is given to having a deep, real faith, attained through one’s own strength. Sometimes we even demand others to have the same faith, as if they can just fabricate it out of thin air. But faith is something we cannot make ourselves; it is something that we must request from God. A second misconception is what “good deeds” means. There is still the same old religious temptation to want to earn God’s favour. Or at least to try to help God in what he has already done. Paul highlights, however, that faith alone is enough. There is nothing more to be done. God has done it all. “By faith alone” is also a solution to a third misconception, one that is probably more relevant to our modern society than the previous two: that what God has done puts us right with him, whether we accept it in faith or not. There are a lot of people these days that want an easy option, so that they can switch their “godliness” to autopilot. Where it is anonymous and automatic, regardless of whether you have responded to God’s offer or of whether you even believe in it or not. But Paul reminds us in this passage that God has approached us through Christ because he desires a relationship with us. Such a relationship can only be achieved “by faith alone”. That is why we invite people to also experience this faith. What is your biggest “religious” temptation? Is it in boasting about your own faith, even though it was a gift? Is it, perhaps, trusting in your own godly accomplishments, even though it does not bring you any more favour with God? Or is it in the deceptive hope that it can still work without faith? Answering these questions honestly can help you decide what direction your prayer should go today.   Prayer Focus (Eph. 3: 14-21) Thank you:
  • for the gift of Grace, which we do not deserve
  • that Christ has done everything necessary for us
  • that God has induced faith in us
  • for often boasting about our faith
  • for trying to win your favour through our own efforts
  • “I do believe – help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9: 24)
  • for unity in faith
  • because God is reliable
  • because the way to God is open

Writen by: Dr. Guido Baltes, Marburg

Latest Posts

Receive the EEA newsletter!