My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Luther's thoughts on John 1:17

John wanted to make a point about God's laws when he said, "The teachings came through Moses, but kindness and truth came into existence through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17) Its as if he wanted to say: "The laws given through Moses are laws that lead to life, God's approval, and everything else that is good. But much more was attained through Christ. He came and filled our empty hands. He fulfilled the demands of God's laws. He brought God's kindness and truth.

Christ enabled us to keep the First, Second, and Third commandments. In this way, we came to trust and have faith in God as our Father. We began to praise him with a cheerful heart and regard his name as holy.

Where did all this kindness come from? We certainly didn't do anything to deserve it. None of our good works performed in obedience to God's laws earned it. Instead, it came from being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, being renewed by the Word of God, and having faith in Christ. Through these, we have received a new spirit that makes God's Word and God's laws a pleasure to obey. Now, we find joy in trusting God about everything else. We feel that we can do it. We have made a new beginning and have already learned the basics. The undeserved kindness that Christ has given us through faith makes the First Commandment a pleasure to obey.

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