THE WEEK OF TRINITY XXIII – MONDAY
LESSON: PSALM 118:1‒9
If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also give us all things with Him? Romans 8:31‒32
All who set themselves against the divine wisdom and Word of God must bring discredit on themselves or suffer disgrace. Let no one therefore be afraid, even if all the cleverness and might of the world range themselves against the Gospel, and even if efforts are made to subdue it with bloodshed. The more blood that is shed, the more Christians will increase. Tertullian well observed that the blood of the Christians is the seed from which Christians grow. The devil is drowned in Christian blood. Hence it is not a very smart thing to try to suppress the Gospel by force.
In a certain respect, the Gospel resembles the palm tree. It is the nature and character of this tree to lie on top, no matter how much loading one puts onto it. If a beam is made of it, it does not yield to any load but actually raises itself against the load. That is also how the Gospel is. The more opposition it encounters, the greater pressure it exerts, and the more men try to quench it, the more and more it grows.
We should never be afraid of might and force; what we should really fear is success and good days. These are quite likely to do us more harm than anxiety and persecution.
We should also not be afraid of the wisdom and cleverness of the world. This can do us no harm. The more the wisdom of the world opposes the truth of the Gospel, the purer and clearer the truth becomes.
PRAYER: Be the defender and protector of Your Word and Gospel, O God, in all attacks made on it by its enemies. May Your Word and Gospel continue to go from strength to strength, 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, 5:293-306.