The Two Dimensions of the Christian Life

Martin Luther by Ron AdairMartin Luther:

You have often heard me say that the Christian life has two dimensions: the first is faith, and the second is good works. A believer should live a devout life and always do what is right. But the first dimension of the Christian life—faith—is more essential. The second dimension—good works—is never as valuable as faith. People of the world, however, adore good works. They regard them to be far higher than faith.

Good works have always been valued more highly than faith. Of course, it’s true that we should do good works and respect the importance of them. But we should be careful that we don’t elevate good works to such an extent that faith and Christ become secondary. If we esteem them too highly, good works can become the greatest idolatry. This has occurred both inside and outside of Christianity. Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. They preach about and praise their own works instead of God’s works.

Faith should be first. After faith is preached, then we should teach good works. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone.

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4 Responses

  1. I am always fond of a good Luthor quotation!

  2. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

  3. Thanks for sharing this quote – there is a lot of truth in it. I believe too often though we try to separate these two aspects when really they are intertwined in my experience. As we grow in faith, fall more and more in love with God, learn more about His love for us, we desire to serve Him – to obey Him – to be used by Him for His purposes. This is a prayer for my life.
    Blessings
    -Jen

    http://thelilyandthemarrow.wordpress.com/

    • “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5 ESV)

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