“Self-esteem, esteem, Robert Schuller says, is the ‘new Reformation.’ Feeling good about ourselves is the goal of life… We could say that reducing everything to the level of human judgment is the contemporary form of trying to save oneself by good works. But, this move fails to allow humans the freedom they seek. After all, human judgment is a hard and cruel taskmaster. We ourselves can be as hard on ourselves as anyone….
What Luther discovered in reading his Bible, in his conversation and struggle, was that we can't be saved by works, no matter how highly they may be esteemed by human judgment. A world that thinks to do so is simply irrelevant. So when he heard St. Paul saying that it is not our estimate, not our judgment, but God's that matters, the ‘gates of paradise,’ he said, swung wide open. We are justified before God by faith alone, not by works. That, you will recognize, was the watchword of Luther's Reformation. We are judged righteous before God because of what God has done in Jesus Christ, not by our own deeds. What God wants from us is faith, and if the faith is right, the deeds will follow of themselves.”
~ Gerhard Forde, A More Radical Gospel
Grace & Peace,
~ Pastor Kevin