THE WEEK OF TRINITY VI – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: 1 PETER 1:22-25
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15
It is quite clear from Christ’s interpretation in this Gospel that we are all guilty of breaking the commandment, “You shall not kill.”
He who is not born again from God cannot possibly ever throw off the charge of murder. Even though a man refrains from the act of murder, he cannot get rid of his murderous thoughts and his acquiescence in a murder. How often do we not say when someone is murdered, “He got his deserts! It served him right!” All such reactions are clearly contrary to this commandment. God does not merely consider external works; He looks into the heart. And so, this commandment, “You shall not kill,” is a very wide-reaching commandment with a very wide application.
Without spiritual rebirth, it is beyond us. Here, too, it is necessary to become a new creature. Christ has fulfilled the whole Law for us by His perfect obedience to His heavenly Father in life and in death. He has “redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13).
By faith in Christ, all our sins against God’s law are fully and freely forgiven. For our sakes, God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness which avails before God in Him. By faith in Christ, we become new creatures, we are born again, and we love to run the way of God’s commandment. But even as new creatures we are still far from perfection. We must always remain linked with Christ or else we must surely fail.
SL 11:1339 (10-11)
PRAYER: Renew us by Your Holy Spirit, O God, that we may begin to love Your holy Law and observe it in our relations with our neighbor as new creatures in and through Christ our Savior. 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, 4:167-178.