THE WEEK OF TRINITY XXIII – SATURDAY
LESSON: 1 JOHN 5:6‒12
Let God be true, but every man a liar. Romans 3:4
Someone may ask: What will happen if we cannot trust anyone? We must have some involvement and dealings with others; how otherwise could human society continue? We must buy and sell and distribute our wares among others. If no one believed or trusted anyone else, all human transactions would come to an end.
It is true, of course, that we must have dealings with each other, and one needs the other’s help. But the point I am trying to make is this: your dealings with any man, whether it be buying or selling, must be regarded as a matter of uncertainty on which you cannot rest your faith or build anything with absolute certainty.
This much is sure: If you trust anyone, you are already deceived. Human nature, to the best of its ability, can do nothing but lie and deceive. Everything, accordingly, which depends on man must always retain an element of uncertainty; man’s works and words are subject to constant change and instability. Be quite sure of that!
We must trust God alone and say, “O Lord, You are my life, my soul and body, my property and goods, and all that is mine: direct and order it all in accordance with Your will. You I believe. You I trust. You will never forsake me in any dangerous situation with this man or that man. I cannot trust man. If you know that it will be good for me, bring it to pass that he keeps faith with me. If you know that it will not benefit me, let him break faith with me. I am well content to let Your will be done.
PRAYER: O God, we pray that Your good and gracious will should always prevail in all our relationships with You and our fellowmen, for Christ’s sake. 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.