Rom. 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.
Faith is the supernatural work of God that transforms our lives. It is not generated by will power or out of human nature, it is altogether supernatural. Salvation comes to us by grace through faith, it is a gift from God that enables us to see the truth of the gospel and to be thoroughly changed. This message of faith is what birthed the church in the first century. It is also the message that turned the world on its ear in the 1500’s. Martin Luther’s introductory comments in his commentary on the book of Romans is the famous passage that was used in the conversion of John Wesley. Here is an excerpt from that introduction.
“Faith is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God. . . . Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge of and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performed in faith. Because of it, without compulsion, a person is ready and glad to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything out of love and praise to God who has shown him this grace. Thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire.”
Wesley famously said his heart was strangely warmed as he heard Luther’s words being read in that Moravian Bible Study. Hundreds of thousands were converted and possibly thousands entered the ministry through Wesley’s ministry in the years that followed. As Luther said, “God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all creatures”. Does Luther’s observation describe your life? Has faith in God made you glad and bold and happy? It was the happiness of the Moravians that attracted Wesley and convinced him he had not been born again. Happiness in the soul is the mark of authenticity that flows from the gospel; it can hardly be faked. If your heart is cold and sad look to Jesus. That’s where faith and love reside. Look to Jesus and your heart will be strangely warmed as God’s faith awakens your soul.