Epiphany I – Friday



He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7

We should never place our confidence in the doctrine of men and the holy fathers. God has given us many examples to teach us not to build on men or to put our confidence in men.

Even the saints make mistakes. We read that, something like eighteen years after the ascension of Christ (Acts 15), the apostles and the group of those who were Christian came together in Jerusalem. The question to be decided was: Should one compel the Gentiles coming into the church to be circumcised? Some of the leaders of the party of the Pharisees who had become believers came forward and said that the Gentiles should be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses. Much strife ensued and many were in danger of accepting this viewpoint.

Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and James opposed this suggestion. Peter in particular said: God has given His Holy Spirit to the Gentiles, who received the Gospel by my mouth, just as He did to us, and made no difference between them and us but cleansed their hearts by faith. If then, they received the Holy Spirit without being circumcised, why do you want to bind them in addition and impose a yoke on their necks which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? We believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, just as they will. Acts 15:7-11

AE 76, 206

PRAYER: We thank you, Lord, for the gift of full and free justification in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Grant us at all times fully to understand and appreciate all that you have done for us in your Son. Keep us always fully reliant on your grace in Christ, for Christ’s sake. Amen.