THE WEEK OF TRINITY XIX – WEDNESDAY

LESSON: PSALM 103:1‒13

“I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25

The forgiveness of sins is a very short phrase, but it comprises the whole kingdom of Christ. Men always have sins, but they must be recognized and acknowledged. When I have recognized them, forgiveness and grace are readily available. Before forgiveness enters the picture, there is absolutely nothing but sin. I am compelled to acknowledge this. I feel and know that all that is in me is blindness. Without this acknowledgment, the forgiveness of sins will not hold its ground. We never fall short in the matter of sins, but we do fall short in our acknowledgment of sins. The forgiveness of sins follows the acknowledgment of sins.

There is, however, quite a difference between God’s forgiveness of our sins and our forgiveness of our neighbor’s sins. When we forgive our neighbor, we may recall that sin again subsequently and throw it in our neighbor’s face. When God forgives us our sin it is something much higher. God no longer condemns us; He abandons all His wrath. Indeed, He never thinks of our sins again as He reminds us in this text from Isaiah.

And having abandoned His wrath, He also removes hell, the devil, death, and every misfortune which the devil may bring along. Instead of wrath He gives us grace, consolation, salvation, and every good thing that He Himself is.

SL.XL.1715,12

PRAYER: There is always forgiveness with You, O God, as You assure us times without number in Your holy Word. Implant this wonderful truth in our hearts in such a manner that we trust in it and believe in it implicitly, 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, 5:196-210.