Wednesday, October 2, 2013

God's Promises Depend on Him, Not Us

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God?  Certainly not!  For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.  But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  (Gal 3:21-22)

God does not delay His promises, Paul says, on account of our sins; nor does He hasten them on account of our righteousness and our merits.  He does not consider either one.  Therefore even if we were made worse through the Law and hated God more, God would still not be moved by this to defer the promise; for it does not depend on our worthiness and righteousness but on His goodness and mercy.  Therefore it is a pure fiction when the Jews say: "The Messiah has not come, because our sins are delaying His coming."  As though God would become unjust on account of our sins or a liar on account of our lies!  He Himself always remains righteous and truthful, whether we sin or do not sin.  Therefore His truth is the only reason for His observing and fulfilling the promise.

Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians

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