✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum
Galatians 5,25-26; 6,1-3.7-10 4518
15. Sonntag nach Trinitatis 060
Gorgonius, Dorotheus and Peter, Martyrs at Rome 304 (Emperor Diocletian)
9. September 2018
1. О Triune God, blessed be Your Name, increase and preserve in us the fruits of faith, so that they are of benefit to our neighbor and sweeter to us from day to day. Amen. (Starck 210)
2. »If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brothers and sisters, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him or her in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
3. In His Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us: »Seek first the reign of God and His righteousness, and all these temporal needs will be added to you« (Matthew 6,33). With this teaching Jesus sets our priorities: we should be concerned first and foremost with our salvation. Therefore, when Jesus exhorts us to seek first the reign of God and His righteousness, He is exhorting us to seek Him who is the world’s righteousness and ours; He is the pathway to the reign of God.
4. To say „Jesus is our righteousness“ is to say that His righteousness makes us righteous and justified in God’s sight. Jesus has forgiven, redeemed and saved us through His vicarious sacrifice on the cross. We call this justification, and sanctification flows forth from it. Our trust in Jesus for salvation then frees us to love and serve our neighbors.
5. The Apostle Paul list some ways to love and serve our neighbor, particularly that we bear their burdens and do good to them. He lists some open general admonitions and exhorts us to fill in the specific good work as the need arises. One day it may be helping them get to the grocery store; another day it may be raking their leaves. Sanctification flows from justification and looks for ways to be of help to our neighbor. Thus Paul exhorts us: »Do not grow weary of doing good, as we have opportunity, but do good to everyone, especially to those who are fellow Christians.«
6. One’s vocation is also an opportunity to do good. If you teach, then teach well. If you are a parent, then raise your children in the faith and teach them to be good citizens. If you are simply a paper pusher, then push those papers with joyfully efficiency as you help the larger cogs in the corporation turn smoothly. If you have a trade skill, then craft the best product you can. When we put our best foot forward in our vocation, then we ultimately help our neighbor to be blessed.
7. »We live by the Spirit, and we walk by the Spirit.« Jesus promises that those who seek Him first and His righteousness will thus be blessed with receiving the temporal needs of this life. We walk in the faith and good works bear fruit in our lives. Only Christians can bear good works that are pleasing to God the Father, and that is solely by the merit of Christ and the faith that trusts in Him as one’s Savior. Amen.
8. Let us pray. O Lord, our Good and Gracious God, today we taste and see that You are good; we have heard it preached into our hearts; through Your means of grace comfort and assure us that the person is blessed who takes refuge in You, so that we may be confident to cast all our anxieties and cares upon You alone, and in doing so receive rest, peace and joy. Amen.
To God alone be the Glory
Soli Deo Gloria
All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.
All quotations from the Book of Concord are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using Die Bekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche, 12. Edition © 1998 by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern.