THE WEEK OF TRINITY – FRIDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 3:13-17
“This is eternal life, that they know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.” John 17:3
You can have no more sure and certain basis for the deity of Christ than to wrap up your heart in clear passages of Scripture and, in this way, also lock up this truth in your hearts.
Scripture begins in a very gentle manner and introduces us to Christ as a man. Then it brings Him before us as the Lord of all creatures. Finally, we are shown quite clearly and expressly that Christ is God. In this way, fine progress is made, and we learn to recognize God.
The philosophers and worldly-wise men begin at the top and make fools of themselves in the process. You must begin at the bottom and make your way up so that Solomon’s words are not fulfilled in you: “It is not good to eat too much honey, and he who investigates difficult matters will find the going too hard” (Proverbs 25:27, Luther’s translation).
Our faith in the two persons of the Father and the Son has been adequately grounded and established on clear passages of Scripture. On the third person, the Holy Spirit, we may well quote Christ’s words on sending out His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Here Christ assigns deity also to the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as I can trust or believe in no one else but God alone. I always need one who is mighty over death, hell, and the devil. He must also be able to rule over all creatures so that they cannot harm me and so that He can always pull me through. I must have one on whom I can freely build. Christ decides that we should believe and trust in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be God.
SL 11:1150 (8-9)
PRAYER: Almighty and everlasting God, in Your mercy You have granted us the faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity. Keep us steadfast in this faith which leads us to the salvation which You have prepared for us in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. 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, 3:405-411.