“But, after a person has been justified by faith, there then exists a true, living “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6). That means that good works always follow justifying faith and are certainly found with it, when it is a true and living faith. For faith is never alone but is always accompanied by love and hope.” - Epitome of the Formula of Concord, 3.11
The above quote was actually written by Martin Chemnitz, not Martin Luther. Chemnitz was often referred to as the “Second Martin” and was very much part of the writing of the Formula of Concord, one of our confessional books. It is a great quote nonetheless that I believe is a good reminder to us all.
“Cheap grace” is what this quote warns us of. Ever heard of “cheap grace”? It is the thought that because of Jesus’ unrelenting and unconditional love, that we should just let sin flow from us freely. God will still love us after all.
Paul states in Romans 6, “shall I continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means!” That is the reality of our faith… it is never alone. It never desires sin, accepts sin, is comfortable in sin. Faith desires more. It desires a change of life, a change of heart, a change in attitude and behavior. Faith desires to love God, to love and serve our neighbors, to do good works.
Rev. Eric Hiner