John 28"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Did you hear what he just said? Who could have been talking in that passage? Justification by works? Was the Roman Catholic Church around back then?
No friends and future colleagues, those words were spoken to us by our Messiah, Jesus. Those words are his. Those words are echoed from the Father.
As I may do often, as I am mused by different sources, I will piggyback my own thoughts to those of a chapel speaker, speech in Hebrew or Greek, or in this case symbolics class where we are currently learning about the Athanasian Creed. Which says:
(Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam; qui vero mala, in ignem aeternam.)
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. (Athanasian Creed-concordia triglota)
Sounds familiar huh? So what is this business about salvation through works. I thought we were saved by grace through faith. Yes you are!
But a judgment will always be rendered on the basis of evidence. What is the evidence of faith? Works. So often we, even as confessional Lutherans, make works to be the goal of our life here on earth.
GOOD WORKS ARE NOT THE GOAL OF OUR FAITH, BUT A NATURAL OUTCOME OF HAVING FAITH!
Faith in Christ saves. This is why when Christ looks on the last day he will see all of the fruits of your faith in full array. Meanwhile he will look to his left and see those who thought they had done good here on earth, but had done so without the blood of the lamb covering their offenses. We have the ability to please God only through the merits of his son Christ Jesus. Let us never give up doing so. Salvation is full and free for all believers, let us rejoice and praise him who won it for us.
More Athanasian Creed to come!