God’s handiwork

November 02, 2017

Being Halloween, October 31 is often associated with pumpkins, dressing up in goulash costumes and knocking on the doors in your neighbourhood asking for lollies.

But there was a particular door that was knocked on 500 years ago that had a far greater impact than ‘‘trick or treating’’.

This day, in 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses (discussion points) to the door of his church.

In medieval times, the large wooden doors of churches acted like community notice boards.

His actions that day reverberated throughout all of Germany — and eventually into Europe and rest of the world — changing the face of Christendom forever.

The question on Luther’s mind was quite simple: ‘‘How can we be right with God?’’

His answer could be summed up by saying, by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone — and thus not by our own good works or personal effort.

But this answer produced another question. If our good works can’t save us, what is the use of them?

Luther’s answer was that there was, indeed, a place for works. The Christian life was not to be absent of doing good.

On the contrary, works of all kind now had a greater significance. Freed from the burden of trying to gain and secure salvation through one’s own effort, the believer now works as an expression of what God has done in them.

As the apostle Paul writes: ‘‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works ...’’ (Eph 2:10).

By saving us through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone, God shapes and moulds us to do good.

In effect, being God’s handiwork the good a Christian does displays God. Put another way, when we live God’s way it brings glory to him.

Thus, our motivation changes. The Christian can see their good works as a delight and not a duty; as acts of worship and instead acts of worry.

~ Contributed by Pastor Chris Taylor of Deniliquin Baptist Church, on behalf of the Combined Churches of Deniliquin.

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