August 30, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 18


“Good works are works that flow from faith and from the joy of heart that has come to us because we have forgiveness of sins through Christ.”

Martin Luther




Martin Luther was not a big fan of the book of James, not because he didn’t think it was true, but because he felt that it was too easy to twist it’s words. For instance in chapter 2 verses 14-18 it says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”



To Martin, this section of Scripture was ripe for misinterpretation. He thought that those who wished to gain righteousness by their works would read this in a way that the Lord did not intend, thinking that it was works that produced faith when, indeed, it was the opposite.



What James is saying is that it is faith that produces works and that a lack of works gives evidence to a lack of faith. If you truly have faith in God, it will lead you to good works and the evidence for that faith will be found in the godly things you do.



Martin Luther felt that works righteousness is one of the greatest threats to humanity because it glorifies the created more than it does the Creator. As Martin said, “A truly good work, then, comes from a heart that faith has warmed into walking willingly in the ways of the Lord.”



Where do your good works come from? Do they come from a heart trying to find recognition or from a heart reacting to faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10)



Today, in faith do good works. Go to God in prayer for direction and be ready for the opportunities He gives you.



Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the faith to do what you have called us to do and guide us in faith to do good works to Your glory. Amen.