EASTER – WEEK 3 – FRIDAY
LESSON: EPHESIANS 1:3-11
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
We can never form a correct estimate of persecutions, trials, and other troubles, or understand them correctly, unless Christ Himself awakens and enlightens us, and His resurrection becomes a power in us. All our own pretentious doings must be shattered and accounted as nothing.
In the Gospel for this week (John 16:16-23), we are given a powerful reminder that man with all his own powers is nothing. Here we have a condemnation and refutation of all that was formerly proclaimed about good works and all that may be claimed for good works in a similar way in the future. This much is quite clear: where Christ is absent, there is nothing significant for any Christian.
Ask St. Peter how he was minded when Christ was not with him and what kind of good works he performed? He denied Christ and confirmed his denial with cursing and swearing (Matthew 26:74). Those are the kind of good works we perform when Christ is not with us.
All this should help us to build on Christ alone and to rely on no other creature in heaven or on earth. In His name alone and in no other, there is preservation and salvation for us (Acts 4:12; 10:43).
SL 11:836 (18-19)
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, enlighten us in such a way by Your Holy Spirit that we learn to trust with our whole hearts in the salvation that You alone have provided for us as the beginning and the ending of our Christian faith. 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, 3:72-86.