Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A call to Persevere

4.8.2015 Easter Wednesday                        Hebrews 10:19-39 A call to Persevere

The proclamation if Christ’s cleansing sacrifice relieves and strengthens our conscience to we see ourselves and the certainty of God’s mercy clearly. “Where the heart is not in a right relationship with God, or cannot take such confidence, it will not dare to pray anymore.  Such as confident and joyful heart can spring from nothing else than the certain knowledge of the forgiveness of sin.“ (Luther’s Large Catechism, III,92)

Luther comments, “This old man consists of error, concupiscence, wrath, fear, apprehension, despair, evil conscience, horror of death, etc. Those are characteristic of the old, carnal man. They diminish, however in the new man, but they are not extinguished until he himself is extinguished by death…Rather the process of removal has begun and as a person increases in spiritual health, these evils are removed. This spiritual health is nothing more than faith in or love in Christ.” (American Edition 31:124)[2]

The writer to the Hebrews writes boldly concerning the confidence we have as redeemed children of God. He reminds us, we must come to God with a true heart, and with the confidence our faith gives us. Our hearts have been sprinkled and made clean, so that we have no guilty conscience. Our bodies have been washed with pure water. We must hold on firmly to the hope we have in Christ. The one who gave us His promise can be trusted.  Thus we move forward, thinking about how we can help each other to grow in love and faith. We must keep on encouraging one another. The day of our Lord’s coming is near. Thus, we continue to encourage each other.

Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lutheran Study Bible, ©2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[3] Collect for Easter Wednesday, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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