Reformation: God’s workmanship

Commentary

How do you feel about yourself? Knowing our hidden secrets can leave us feeling less than good about ourselves. Those secrets are usually things that we have done or failed to do that we don’t want anyone else to know about. If they did, we are afraid that we would be punished or disliked or even abandoned.

There is someone who does know all our inmost thoughts and secrets. But no matter how bad they may be, that person does not and will never abandon us. God knows all things. He knows each one of us intimately. None of us are perfect. All of us have things we hide from everyone else. God knows those secrets and yet still loves us.

That does not mean that He ignores our terrible secrets. He does not like what we have hidden. He does not just look the other way. In His great love for us He accomplished all that is needed to satisfy the punishment we deserve. The worst things for which we are guilty God now forgives. As He forgives them, He also forgives all our lesser failures, faults, and wrong doings.

We know that God forgives all those things because He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place and suffer the punishment we all deserve. He, being innocent of any wrong doing, suffered a terrible death on a cross. Being a true man He took our place. Being true God His suffering and death can apply to all people. Rising from the dead He declared His victory over death, sin and Satan. That victory now applies to all of us.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” These words of God in Ephesians 2:8,9 sum up everything that God has accomplished for all of us. Since the Reformation they are often quoted as people both remind themselves and assure others of all that God has done to give us the gift of forgiveness for all of our sins.

There is even more to remember about what God does for each of us in the following verse, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Not only does God forgive us, He helps to respond to what He has done. In the God given joy of forgiveness we have a great gift to share. We know a loving, forgiving God that we want to share with all people.

God forgives you and is at work in you. You can feel good about yourself. Learn more by visiting or contacting: St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church, Gowanda (532-4342), or Trinity Lutheran Church, Silver Creek (934-2002).

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