THE WEEK OF TRINITY VIII – TUESDAY

LESSON: 2 PETER 1:19-21

Whoever speaks, [speak] as one who utters oracles of God. 1 Peter 4:11

You must be just as sure and certain about the Word of God as you are sure and certain that you live, and even more so. For on this Word alone your conscience must take its stand.

No matter how many men come along, or even angels and the whole world, with some sort of conclusion, if you cannot make such a judgement or reach such a conclusion, you are lost. You cannot simply accept the judgement of the pope or of anyone else. You must be so constituted that you can say, “This is what God says; God does not say this. This is correct; that is not correct.” Otherwise, you cannot stand your ground.

If you are on your deathbed and take up your stand on the pope and the councils, saying, “The pope says this; the councils have decided that; the holy fathers like Augustine and Ambrose have concluded this,” the devil will immediately shoot holes in your claims with the question, “What if these statements were incorrect? What if they erred?” If such temptation comes upon you, you have already succumbed. Here you must be quite sure and say, “This is God’s Word. On this I will surrender body and life and a hundred thousand necks if I had them.”

St. Paul says to the Corinthians, “I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5).

SL 11:1395 (6-7)

PRAYER: Lord, You have given us a sure and certain Word to establish us in the faith and to remove far from us all uncertainty and doubt. Enable us at all times to live up to our convictions and to confess Your holy name without fear or favor, in Jesus’ name. 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, 4:234-245.