What Luther Learned From Romans – by Desmond Ford

Nov 22, 2015 928

ColosseumLuther’s life was one of tempest and calm. Empire and church were out to murder him but in the mercies of God he married a wonderful lady who had left the nunnery. He tried to marry her off but she said, “I will marry no one but Dr Luther,” and she did.

Because of wife, his home life was very calm. However, his life apart from home was very stormy. He died prematurely.

The book of Romans is like the life of Luther. It is a rainbow with both dark sombre colours and bright cheerful colours, like the rainbow. The rainbow, after all, is a combination of the rain and the sun.

The book of Romans is about the storm of God’s wrath against evil. God loves the sinner but he hates the sin. And then the sun shines through –

“This man,” God the Son, “receiveth sinners.” “He has gone to be guest with him that is a sinner”… Woman, has no man condemned you?” “No man, Lord.” “Neither do I condemn thee.” And he said to the penitent thief, who was as far gone as anyone could be, “You are going to be in paradise with me.”

Luther learned from the book of Romans that God is a God who justifies the ungodly. We would not have expected it to read like that… We are stunned and say, “God, you should only justify the godly! What are you up to?” But this book says in the 4th chapter, 5th verse, that our God justifies the ungodly.

May I mention something you may not have thought about? Very few preachers preach on Ananias and Sapphira. Here are two church members, who are in good and regular standing, and who are struck dead! Why?

Not because they retained some of the money of the sale of the property – not at all! Peter said to them, “That was in your hands.” They were struck dead because they misrepresented their spiritual condition before God. They came into his presence as though they were holy and sinless and God struck them dead.

You know, mercy and misery go together. It is a sad rule in our world that it is chiefly when misery has emptied our hands of “things” that we are able to receive the grace of God. Mercy and misery go together and this is why the first three chapters of Romans are dark and sombre –a series of thunder claps –

“All have sinned, all come short of the glory of God. There is none that doeth good; there is none that seeketh after God, they have all turned out of the way. And whatever the law says, it says to them that are under the law that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world will become subject to the judgment of God.”

That is stormy! Fancy, to be told that just to fall short of the glory of God is to be under condemnation.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 3.

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