PENTECOST – THURSDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 7:13-20
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26
In connection with the Holy Spirit and His work, it is always necessary to maintain a certain reserve, so that we do not approach the Holy Spirit with an importunity that amounts to arrogance and a joyfulness that is almost levity.
Some people are so filled with the Spirit that they become secure and imagine themselves to be on the threshold of perfection. A pious Christian is still flesh and blood like other men, except that he deeply deplores his sin and evil lust. He has experiences which he would rather forget. Unbelievers take little account of sin and do not allow it to bother them unduly.
The important thing here is not merely the experience of evil lust and fighting against it. We must not allow our feelings and experience to determine the issue. We must not conclude that all is lost because we still feel our sins. We must keep on working at our sins every day of our lives and permit the Holy Spirit to continue His work in us. We must also have the earnest desire to get rid of our sins. This desire never ceases in believers.
Such sighs penetrate so deeply that they reach a level where they are beyond words (Romans 8:26). But they have a precious auditor, the Holy Spirit Himself. He can fully appreciate all this sighing and comfort the conscience from which it comes.
SL 11:1026 (21)
PRAYER: Hear our sighs, O Holy Spirit, Comforter and Counselor, and keep working on us with Your purposes of grace and salvation, in and through Jesus Christ our Savior. 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, 3:272-287.