ASCENSION – WEEK 1 – SUNDAY
LESSON: JOHN 15:26-16:4
The genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7
You have heard me say a great deal about faith. Now you will hear about witnessing to the faith about the cross which accompanies faith. Paul reminded the Romans that a “man believes with his heart and so is justified” (Romans 10:10).
The starting point of Christian piety is faith of the heart. This is the beginning of piety, but it is not enough for salvation. One must also lead a truly Christian life and continue therein. Paul also says to the Romans, “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” (Romans 10:10).
The two things which save us are faith and the confession of faith. Faith saves from sins, hell, devil, death, and all misfortune. When we have faith, we have enough. Let us then live for God here on earth by extending a helping hand to our neighbor. In this way, God wants His name to be praised and His kingdom extended.
Therefore, we must praise God’s name here on earth, confess our faith, and encourage others to come to God, so that God’s kingdom is enlarged and His name praised. Faith must be practiced, worked at, fortified, and even refined by fire like gold.
SL 11:992 (1-2)
PRAYER: Equip us with grace, heavenly Father, always to be a clear witness to our faith in service to our neighbor, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 3:244-254.