THE WEEK OF TRINITY XIX – TUESDAY

LESSON: LUKE 12:32‒34

To them [His saints] God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

The kingdom of Christ is of such a kind that we waive all our glorying and boldness in our dependence on God’s grace. All other works are free. We must never make them matters of any compulsion. Nor must we imagine that we can become Christians from our works, but with our works we reach down and serve the interests of our neighbor. Hence we should listen carefully to what this week’s Gospel (Matthew 9:1‒8) has to tell us, and take a firm grasp of its statements and impress them on our hearts so that this light, these words and this lamp, may shine forth brightly in us, that thereby we may instruct others.

Jesus says to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.” We should take hold of these and similar words and grasp them with our hearts, because they are words of pure grace alone. There is nothing of any work here, suggesting that a conscience should be forced to attempt to do something meritorious. And so you must fortify yourself with these words against false prophets.

We have planted the Word to a certain extent. This the devil cannot abide. He never sleeps. The caterpillars and the beetles will come to defile what we have planted. And so it must be. For Christ wants to prove His Word, to carry out a test to see who has grasped it or not. Let us, then, remain on the correct path which leads to the kingdom of Christ, not operating with works and legal pressures and compulsion, but with the words of the Gospel alone, “Be joyful, take heart, your sins are forgiven.”

SL.XI.1714,9‒10

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we poor sinners are blessed, indeed, in the assurance of the forgiveness of sins which You have emphasized so much for us in Your Gospel of salvation. Give us a faith which always clings wholly and solely to the forgiveness of sins where You have provided it for us, in and through 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, 5:196-210.