“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1st Peter 1:17-21Thus Peter says: You by faith have attained even to this, that ye are the children of God and he is your Father, and you have obtained an incorruptible inheritance in heaven, which has been said in verse 4; so nothing more now remains, except for the veil to be taken away, and that to be uncovered which is now concealed or which ye are to still wait until ye behold it. Though ye have arrived at that state in which you may joyfully call God your Father, yet he is so righteous that he will reward every man according to his works, and respect not persons. Wherefore thou art not to imagine, although thou hast already that great name that thou art called a Christian or a child of God, that he will therefore continue if thou livest without fear, and thinkest it is enough if thou dost glory in that name. The world indeed judges according to the person, since it does not punish all alike, and respects those who are friendly, rich, reputable, learned, wise and powerful; but God regards nothing of this kind; it is all alike to him, the son of King Pharaoh died, as well as the son of the poor miller. Exodus 12:29

Therefore the Apostle would have us expect such judgement from God, and stand in fear, so that we do not glory in our title that we are Christians, and rely upon that, as though he would for this reason be more lenient to us then to others. For in this the Jews were formerly deceived, who boasted that they were Abraham’s seed and God’s people. Scripture makes no difference in respect to the flesh, but in respect to the spirit. It is true that Christ was to be born of Abraham’s seed and that a holy people should spring from him, but it does not therefore follow that all who are born of Abraham are the children of God. He also promised that the Gentiles should be saved, but has not said that he would save all the Gentiles.

But here a question arises: When we say that God saves us alone by faith, without regards to works, Why does Peter say he judges not according to the person, but according to works? Answer: What we have taught as to faith alone justifying before God, is true beyond doubt, since it is so clear from scripture it cannot be denied. That God judges according to the works, as the Apostle here says, it is also true; but we must certainly hold therefore that where no faith is, there can be no good works; and on the other hand, there is no faith where there is not good works. Consequently join together both faith and good works, since it is both that the sum of the whole Christian life consists. As you now live, so will it be with you, for according to your life will God judge you. Therefore although God judges us according to our works, still it remains true that works are only the fruits of faith, by which we perceive when there is belief or unbelief; hence God will judge and convict you according to your works whether you have or have not believed. So it is that one can not well convict and judge a liar, except from his word. yet he is not made a liar by his word, but became a liar before he spoke the lie, for the lie must come from the heart into the mouth. Therefore understand this passage thus, in the plainest way: That works are fruits and signs of faith, and that God judges men according to such fruits which must certainly follow, so that it shall be openly seen whether there is faith or unbelief in the heart. God will not judge according to this, whether you are called a Christian, ot whether you have been baptized, but will ask you: “Art thou a Christian? then tell where are the fruits by which you can evidence your faith.” Martin Luther

For brethren, you have been called unto liberty , only use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

Jesus says: 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:44-45

Oh Father of mercies, God of all grace, we ask this harvest season with Thanksgiving soon upon us, that you would cause our hearts to overflow with your love to each other and to our neighbors, that fruits off love would witness to all people, in the world we live in. That all the world would see we are your disciples because we love one another, and grant us daily lives of faith that bring glory to your great name in Jesus name. Amen

God’s Peace be with you all
Pastor Mark

Posted on 27 Sep 2016
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