I've recently joined a Lutheran Church so am now learning something about Lutheranism. Today was Reformation Sunday, the anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing his convictions to a church door that sparked the Protestant Reformation.
The pastor caught my attention when he pointed out that the famous verse in Habakkuk 2:4, "the just shall live by faith", later taken by Paul as the linchpin of his understanding of the Gospel and still later picked up by Luther as the foundation for the Reformation, does not quite mean what the English translation indicates. The verse more accurately reads, "the just shall live by faithfulness". Even more significantly, the same Hebrew word used throughout the Torah or the Old Testament always refers to God's faithfulness, not ours.
Why did that catch my attention? Assuming there is an afterlife, millions of Christians as well as Muslims are hoping to reach Paradise by believing the right thing (faith) or doing the right thing (faithfulness). But just like the spiritual struggle of Martin Luther, how can you ever be sure that you have the right faith, or enough faith, or that you have been faithful enough? The realization that one's eternal destiny is determined not necessarily by my faithfulness but by that of God really could make this a Revolutionary Sunday!