We’ve been working on getting a review of The God of the Mundane from Luther for some time now
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
False Christians cannot understand what Jesus is saying in this passage. They wonder, “What kind of Christians are these people? They can’t do anything more than eat and drink, work in their homes, take care of their children, and push a plow. We can do all that and better.” False Christians want to do something different and special—something above the everyday activities of an ordnary person. They want to join a convent, lie on the ground, wear sackcloth garments, and pray day and night. They believe these works are Christian fruit and produce a holy life. Accordingly, they believe that raising children, doing housework, and performing other ordinary chores aren’t part of a holy life. For false Christians look on external appearances and don’t consider the source of their works—whether or not they grow out of the vine.
But in this passage, Christ says that the only works that are good fruit are those accomplished by people who remain in him. What believers do and how they live are considered good fruit— even if these works are more menial than loading a wagon with manure and driving it away. Those false believers can’t understand this. They see these works as ordinary, everyday tasks. But there is a big difference between a believer’s works and an unbeliever’s works—even if they do the exact same thing. For an unbeliever’s works don’t spring from the vine—Jesus Christ.
That’s why unbelievers cannot please God. Their works are not Christian fruit. But because a believer’s works come from faith in Christ, they are all genuine fruit.
From Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther, James C. Galvin. ©2005 by Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced without written permission from Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530. Sent from the Martin Luther’s Faith Alone Devotional. For devotionals like this one for your iPhone, visit us at 43rdElement.com