“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.”
– Romans 4:4
If God gave us what we are due based on our works, what would we receive? Now you do not get to keep your own accounting of deeds. Any one of us can name a whole list of good things we think we do every day. But the omniscient (all-knowing), just, and holy God keeps a much more complete list of the things we do. If He paid us according to His list, you and I would not like what is due us – eternal death and damnation.
The great man of God, Abraham, serves as our example; not on the basis of His works, but on the basis of His faith. While Abraham did many great deeds, His righteousness came from the promise of Christ which he grasped by faith.
When we consider what is due us for our works, we confess our sins. We give our tainted and sinful works to Jesus, so that we can grasp His saving death and resurrection. Salvation comes by receiving through faith the gift of Christ given in the waters of baptism, in the body given and blood shed of the Holy Supper, and in the preaching of Christ crucified.
Prayer: Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin; Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within. (Not What These Hands Have Done, LSB 567:3).
This devotion was written by Rev. Mark Brase – Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran in Fairfield, IA.