THE WEEK OF CANTATE – THURSDAY
LESSON: PSALM 32
[Christ] is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
God makes it quite clear to us that, if we want to get rid of our sins, we must be able to pay the price with quite different works from those which we perform for ourselves. For even our very best works are still marred by sin, even the works by which we imagine that we are reconciling ourselves to God and atoning for our sins.
Is it not foolish to try to blot out sins with sins? Even in the very best works that you can perform you are sinning, for the simple reason that you cannot perform these works gladly and readily with all your heart. If you were not motivated by fear of some sort of punishment, you would probably prefer to postpone these works.
With these works of yours, you actually try to atone for little sins with big sins, or you commit sins just as great as the ones of which you are trying to rid yourselves. It is really great blindness for a man not to see what sin is, or to know what good works are, and to confuse sins with good works. The Holy Spirit, therefore, comes and convinces the world of sin by showing men that it is sin to reject Christ and not to believe in Him.
What is the solution? Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has taken your sin away and your sins will be gone. If you do not get rid of your sins in this way, you will fall deeper and deeper into sin and its clutches.
SL 11:869 (12-13)
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, may our faith in the sufficiency of Your work of salvation never weaken but ever increase in and through the consolation of Your Gospel of grace and love. 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.