THE WEEK OF TRINITY XI – WEDNESDAY

LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1‒5

By God’s power [we] are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

The reason why St. Luke and St. James put considerable emphasis on works is to prevent men from laboring under the false delusion that faith is merely some vague sort of feeling that floats about on the heart like froth on the beer This is absolutely wrong!

Faith is a vital, living reality, making a man quite new, changing his whole disposition, giving his life a completely different direction. Faith brings a man right down to the grass roots of existence, and a complete renewal of the whole man takes place. Hence, if I formerly knew a man to be a sinner, I can see from his changed behavior, his altered being, and his different life that he is now a believer. Faith is always a most important factor.

The Holy Spirit has also seen fit to emphasize works because they are witnesses of faith. If there are those who produce no evidence in the form of works, we can quickly conclude, “They heard the message of faith, but it never penetrated to any depth in their case.”

If you want to persist in pride and immorality, in greed and wrath, while continuing to chatter a lot about faith, St. Paul will come to you and say, “The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). The kingdom of God must be lived and put into action; it cannot be adequately attended to with little more than idle chatter.

SL 11:1489 (11)

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, faith is the power which You use to bring men to salvation and to keep them as Your children and disciples. May we never lose this faith, but may it ever increase in us, continuing to manifest itself in rich fruits of faith for the welfare of Your kingdom and in the interests of our neighbor. 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, 4:336-347.