THE THIRD WEEK IN ADVENT – THURSDAY
LESSON: PSALM 98
Christ Jesus our hope. 1 Timothy 1:1
The Greek word for Gospel [euaggelion] means “a joyful message” because in it there is proclaimed the salutary doctrine of life by God’s assurance and grace, and the forgiveness of sins is offered us. So the Gospel is not a matter of works, for it is not Law. The Gospel is a matter of faith alone, because it is absolutely nothing but the promise and offer of divine grace.
He who believes the Gospel receives grace and the Holy Spirit. As a result of this, the heart becomes joyful and well-pleased with God, and a willing and free obedience to the Law ensues. There is no longer any fear of punishment and the pursuit of meritorious works. The heart is content and satisfied with the grace of God.
From the beginning of the world, however, such promises have all been based on Christ. God has not promised such grace to anyone but in Christ and through Christ. Christ is the messenger of divine promise to the whole world. For this purpose He also came into the world and has sent out this promise through the Gospel into all the world. Before His coming He made known this promise through the Prophets. Everything points to Christ and is concluded in Christ. He who does not hear Christ does not hear God’s promise. For just as there is no law outside of Moses and the prophetical Scriptures, so God gives no promise except through Christ alone.
PRAYER: Thanks be to you, O heavenly Father, that you have conferred your grace and salvation upon us on the certain and sure ground of faith in Christ alone, our one and only hope of eternal life. Amen.