“For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” Romans 3:28
Romans 3 is always the appointed text for Reformation Sunday, which we will celebrate this coming Sunday, October 31. But when I read through Romans and think through the reformation, I must confess that it doesn’t rouse my passion. On the surface it feels like an intellectual argument better left to theologians. Are we saved by works or by grace…we hold that… etc. etc. I think we need to a better job showing how our theology of salvation by grace works in real life. I remember a dying woman asking me if God approved of her. She still had in her head, this idea, that she had to earn God’s favor by living a certain kind of life. At the end of the day, we all look at our lives and recognize that if we’re saved by works then we’re sunk! So, I reminded her of the good news that our faith is founded on, the good news she’d heard all her life in the Lutheran church. God approves of you, loves you, cherishes you and welcomes you into his Kingdom because of who God is and what Jesus has done. Your salvation is a gift to be received by faith. She believed and she died in faith and at peace.