Just in case you didn’t know, Tim Keller, yeah, he can put together a pretty OK Bible study. This is what I was just reading, and I liked it so much that I wanted to share.
An excerpt from Marth Luther Treatise Concerning Good Works (1520), followed by Keller, followed by more Luther:
All those who do not in all their works or sufferings, life and death, trust in God’s favor, grace and good-will, but rather seek His favor in other things or in themselves, do not keep the [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry, even if they were to do the works of all the other Commandments, and in addition had all the prayers, fasting, obedience, patience, chastity, and innocence of all the saints combined.
Comment: Luther says if you look to your moral performance of the basis of your relationship with God, then you are breaking the first of the Ten Commandments: “Have no other gods before me.” If you fail to grasp and believe the gospel of free justification through Christ’s work you violate the first command. How could this be?
“If we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious and pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to pleae Him through our works, then all [our compliance with the law] is pure deception, outwardly honoring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false [savior]…”
That is exactly what I have been wrestling with lately. And I’ve said it a thousand times. But I like the way Luther says it and Keller elaborates on it better than the way I mumble.
And now I have to go to work until midnight.