THE WEEK OF CANTATE – FRIDAY
LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:26-31
“[The Holy Spirit] will convince the world … of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.” John 16:8-10
Righteousness means piety, a good and honest life before God. Jesus says here that He will convince the world of righteousness, “because I go to the Father.”
We have often stated that Christ’s resurrection did not take place for His benefit but for our sakes; hence, we should make it our very own possession. He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to establish a spiritual kingdom in which He reigns in us by means of righteousness and truth. He is not just sleeping and resting in heaven or amusing Himself there in idleness, but, as Paul reminds us, He is continually active and busy here on earth in His Church, ruling consciences and souls by the Gospel (cf. Ephesians 1:22).
Wherever Christ is preached and acknowledged, He now rules in us from God’s right hand, and He Himself is present with us here in our hearts. He rules in His kingdom here on earth in such a way that he exercises power, might, and authority over us and all our foes and helps to free us from sin, death, the devil, and hell. His resurrection and ascension are our consolation, life, salvation, and righteousness.
This is what Christ means here when He states that men become righteous before God because He goes to His Father and we see Him no more. This the world cannot understand. The Holy Spirit must come to convince the world of its ignorance in this respect.
SL 11:870 (15-16)
PRAYER: Continue to abide with us, Lord Jesus, as our consolation, life, salvation, and righteousness in Your kingdom of truth and salvation, for Your love’s sake. 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, 3:110-124.