September 8-14, 2014
“Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ,
the Father’s Son, in truth and love.” 2 John 3
Bo Giertz, the Lutheran bishop of Gothenburg, Sweden, who’s known for authoring the book: The Hammer of God, once wrote that the 3 big lies were: 1) there is no God; 2) there is no devil; and 3) everyone can be saved in his own way.
We can balance this out with 3 big truths: First: There is the true God, the Creator of us all and the Father of all believers. He is a God of justice and of mercy; of righteousness and of love. Second: Not only is there a devil but there is also the one who destroyed Satan’s kingdom and power –Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave His life on the cross as an offering for the sins of the world. St. John writes: “Anyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 9. The third great truth involves the third person of the one true God: the Holy Spirit. It is He who brings us to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. If it were true that everyone could be saved in his own way –by serving idols, by doing works that he deems good, by bringing great sacrifices such as bestowing all his goods on the poor or even giving his own body to be burned –then there would be no need for faith in Christ and no need for the Holy Spirit to implant the saving faith in us through the Gospel.
But, some ask, cannot an upright person, by inherent powers of mind or the good qualities of character, achieve saving faith? Not at all. God said through the Apostle Paul, “Faith comes through hearing” the Word of God, the Gospel, which alone is “the power of God unto salvation.” Romans 10:17; Romans 1:16. Salvation is not humanly achieved; it’s God’s outright gift of grace, not of works, lest people would boast. See Ephesians 2:8-9
We can put the 3 great truths like this: The Father thought (or planned it); the Son wrought it; and the Holy Spirit brought it to us in the Gospel. I pray that your faith may be more firmly rooted in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN