Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a monk who was angry at God.
He felt God was unfair in that he crushed ‘miserable sinners’ through the demands of the Law and then, add pain to pain, threatens us through the gospel with his righteousness and wrath. He beat himself desiring to know what God wanted.
Luther’s mistake, was a misunderstanding of righteousness. He understood it to be God’s damning judgment. But on reading Romans 1:17, and considering the use of ‘righteousness’ in the Old Testament, he came to see it was the mercy of God who saves. God declares us righteous by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What does God demand of us? To trust in his righteousness for salvation in Jesus.
On this discovery, not only did Luther say he felt born again and had entered paradise through the open gates, and saw a totally new face to the entire Scriptures, it’s fair to say this marked the beginning of the Reformation. The church herself was saved from missing the good news of the righteousness of God.
Let’s pray that like Luther we see everything differently as we ponder the gospel in Romans.
In Christ, Tory Cayzer.