Psalms 77-78, Romans 10 • Key Verse: Romans 10:13
If anyone could have achieved salvation by his own efforts, it was Martin Luther. In 1505, when he, was 21, he abandoned his career in law and entered the monastery, but not to study theology. His motive was to save his soul.
He gave himself rigorously to the prescribed ways to find God. He fasted, prayed, devoted himself to menial work and practiced penance. In his quest for salvation, he confessed his sins, even the most trivial ones, for hours on end until his superiors, wearied of his exercise, ordered him to stop until he committed some sin worth confessing! He was the most exemplary of monks, yet had no peace.
Luther tried to satisfy God’s demand for righteousness through good works. But what works? he thought. What works can come from a heart like mine? How can I stand before the holiness of my Judge with works polluted in their very source?
It was not until John Staupitz set him to studying the Bible that Luther realized what the difficulty was. He was trying to earn salvation by works, when the righteousness needed was not human but divine. He then understood that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (v. 13).
Luther learned to stop working for righteous. Salvation is a gift received by faith, given by God to everyone who calls on His name.
Perhaps Luthers example will help you see if you are like him, trying to work your way into heaven. Salvation cant be obtained that way. It can be received only by calling on the name of the Lord.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett