Living By The Law Destroys Faith (Problem 5 of 8)

            Living by the Law actually does not increase faith but destroys it.  When we live by the Law and strive for external good works what happens according to Gerhard Forde is that, “the apparent goodness of our works seduce us into putting our trust in them.[1]  Forde goes on to comment on all of our works that proceed from the Law stating, “no matter how good, are deadly sin because they entice us away from the ‘naked trust in the mercy of God’ to a trust in self.[2]
            Doing works under compulsion to fulfill the demands of the Law results in freedom and faith being destroyed.  Martin Luther comments on the thought of viewing works as  if they can fulfill the demands of the Law by saying, “to presume that they (Works) are able to do something that they are actually powerless to do.  The result of this violent intrusion of works is to corrupt and diminish the glory of God’s grace.[3]”  To diminish the glory of God’s grace is to destroy faith and put the attention onto self. (See Galatians 5:4)

[1] Gerhard Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross (Eerdmans, 1997), 37.
[2] IBID
[3] Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian: Luther Study Edition (Fortress Press, 2008), 77. ~ Parenthesis added