TRINITY – WEEK 22 – FRIDAY
LESSON: PSALM 119:33‒40
With the Lord on my side, I do not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:6‒8
Because this servant (Matthew 18:23‒35) is humbled by the knowledge of his sins, the Word becomes a source of mighty consolation to him. The lord absolves him and forgives him his debt and punishment. Hereby we should note that the Gospel does not touch profligate hearts, nor those who are openly insolent in their wickedness, but only those whose conscience is terrified, whose sins oppress them, who would gladly get rid of them if they could. On such God has mercy. He grants them full remission.
In accepting the Word, this servant became God’s friend. If he had not accepted the Word, it would not have helped him; there would have been no remission. Hence, it is not enough for God to offer us the forgiveness of sins and to proclaim a jubilee year of grace; the Word must be accepted and believed.
If you believe the Word, you are free from your sins and all is simple. This is the first part of a Christian life which this Gospel and all others teach us. It consists basically in faith, by which alone we have dealings with God. In addition, however, we are shown here that the Gospel cannot be grasped unless conscience has been previously afflicted and is in distress.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your assurance to us is that we have the full forgiveness of all our sins by Your grace alone through faith alone. Keep from us all trust in our own works and merits as we cling to Your grace alone, for Christ’s sake. Amen.