October is a good time to remember Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Door. These theses were to challenge the church to come back to the truth of Scripture. The church of the day had gotten away from the good news and started laying down man made laws and imposing their rules on their followers. Martin Luther wanted to turn them back to the truth, that we are not saved by what we do, but we are saved by God’s grace.
“To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.” ~ Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians
“What awful presumption to imagine that there is any work good enough to pacify God when to pacify God required the invaluable price of the death and blood of His One and only Son?” ~ Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Following is an excerpt from Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians – Verse 2:21:
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:21
“Did Christ die, or did He not die? Was His death worthwhile, or was it not? If His death was worthwhile, it follows that righteousness does not come by the Law. Why was Christ born anyways? Why was He crucified? Why did He suffer? Why did He love me and give Himself for me? It was all done to no purpose if righteousness is to be had by the Law.
“Or do you think that God spared not His Son, but delivered Him for us all, for the fun of it?…
“To reject the grace of God is a common sin, of which everybody is guilty who sees any righteousness in himself or in his deeds…
“We will always affirm with Paul that either Christ died in vain or else the Law cannot justify us. But Christ did not suffer and die in vain. Hence, the law does not justify.
“If my salvation was so difficult to accomplish that it necessitated the death of Christ, then all my works, all the righteousness of the Law, are good for nothing. How can I buy for a penny what cost a million dollars? The Law is a penny’s worth when you compare it with Christ. Should I be so stupid as to reject the righteousness of Christ which cost me nothing, and slave like a fool to achieve the righteousness of the Law which God disdains?
“Man’s own righteousness is in the last analysis a despising and rejecting of the grace of God. No combination of words can do justice to such an outrage. It is an insult to say that any man died in vain. But to say that Christ died in vain is a deadly insult. To say that Christ died in vain is to make His resurrection, His victory, His glory, His kingdom, heaven, earth, God Himself, of no purpose and benefit whatever.” ~ Martin Luther Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians 2:21)