ASCENSION – WEEK 1 – SATURDAY
LESSON: 1 THESSALONIANS 1:2-10
“And you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:27
“When you have become sure and certain through the Holy Spirit who has witnessed to you, then first and foremost you will bear witness to Me.”
This is Christ’s conviction about His disciples. He had, of course, chosen them as His apostles; they had heard His words and doctrine; they had seen His works and His life. All this would be very important to their proclamation of Christ. But, in addition, they still needed the witness of the Holy Spirit, or else they would achieve nothing.
Conscience is always too weak to offer effective resistance to sin. There is no sin so small that conscience can really stand up against it, even such a matter, for example, as laughing in church. Likewise, conscience can achieve very little when death assails us. We must look elsewhere for help to supply courage to a timid and despondent conscience, so that it never gives up, although it may be heavily laden with sins.
This needed help, like the One who promises it, must be almighty help so that the timid conscience, which beforehand was previously terrified by the sound of a driven leaf (Leviticus 26:36), is no longer afraid before all the devils of hell. And the conscience, which was previously so sensitive that it could not even endure laughter, is now quite able to stand up against any number of sins.
SL 11:997 (13)
PRAYER: Make us strong, bold, and brave confessors of our faith, heavenly Father, through the witness of the Counsellor, whom You and Your Son have promised to send us, in Jesus’ name and for His 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.