Time in the Word
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
A Study for Pentecost 4 – Proper 6
June 6-11 2016
June 6-11 2016
It is not by works of the Law that we are justified, for “the righteous shall live by faith” in Christ (Gal. 3:11). He “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13) through His death on the tree of the cross. Though we have “despised the Word of the Lord” (2 Sam 12:9), He has pity on us and calls us to repentance. He lays hold of us in mercy and grants us peace. He takes our sin upon Himself, so that we shall not die but live (2 Sam 12:13). And so we worship Him—like that woman who anointed His feet, washing them with her tears and drying them with her hair. We love Him much because our “sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Luke 7:47).
Prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for pardon, growth in grace, and divine protection: O Lord, our God, we acknowledge Your great goodness toward us and praise You for the mercy and grace that our eyes have seen, our ears have heard, and our hearts have known. We sincerely repent of the sins of this day and those in the past. Pardon our offenses, correct and reform what is lacking in us, and help us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Inscribe Your law upon our hearts, and equip us to serve You with holy and blameless lives. May each day remind us of the coming of the night when no one can work. In the emptiness of this present age, keep us united by a living faith through the power of Your Holy Spirit with Him who is the resurrection and the life, that we may escape the eternal bitter pains of condemnation. By Your Holy Spirit, bless the preaching of Your Word and the administration of Your Sacraments. Preserve these gifts to us and to all Christians. Guard and protect us from all dangers to body and soul. Grant that we may with faithful perseverance receive from You our sorrows as well as our joys, knowing that health and sickness, riches and poverty, and all things come by permission of Your fatherly hand. Keep us this day under Your protective care and preserve us, securely trusting in Your everlasting goodness and love, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer for steadfast faith: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Monday, 6 June 2016—Psalm 25:16–18, 20; antiphon, Psalm 25:1–2—In the antiphon, we, with author David, beseech the Lord to deliver and protect us, that our enemies not exult over us. In the body of the Introit, our chief enemy is named: sin. It is because of the fallen, sinful state of the world that there is loneliness, affliction, trouble, and distress. The only cure is the forgiveness of sins; we must take refuge in God alone, especially in the forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of Christ our Savior.
Tuesday, 7 June 2016—Psalm 32:1–7—This psalm of David is one of the seven penitential psalms. David, St Paul says, “speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works.” (Romans 4:6) Neither David, nor we, nor any person merits absolution from God; it is solely by His grace that our transgression is forgiven. David exhorts us to offer a prayer—a prayer of contrition—to the Lord, and then to have confidence that He will surround us with shouts of deliverance, such as the one we hear from Jesus on the cross: ‘It is finished!’
Wednesday, 8 June 2016—2 Samuel 11:26—12:10, 13–14—You might remember that, in the old television program Leave It to Beaver, Ward Cleaver, Beaver’s father, would often tell Beaver a tale designed to reprimand and correct some misbehavior by his son. God’s prophet, Nathan, does the same thing to David, who had committed adultery with another man’s wife, and then had the man, Uriah, killed. When David says that the wicked man in the story ought to die, Nathan accuses him, ‘You are the man!’ David is brought to repentance. Though he will sufferer the consequences of his actions, God forgives the sin: ‘The Lord also has put away your sin.’ Likewise, when we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Thursday, 9 June 2016—Galatians 2:15–21; 3:10–14—The key verse of this reading—indeed, of the entire book of Galatians—is chapter 3, verse 11: The righteous shall live by faith. Our condition from the very moment of our conception is that we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). It is only God who can make us righteous by the blood of Christ Jesus, our Savior. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us solely by grace, through faith, which receives the benefits of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection. By faith, given to us by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament, we are declared righteous for Christ’s sake.
Friday, 10 June 2016—Luke 7:36—8:3—In Luke 7:34, we are told that Jesus’ enemies accused Him of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Yes, He was, and is! In the Gospel reading, we are told of a woman—a noted sinner—who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume, and wiped them with her hair. Simon the Pharisee was scandalized that Jesus would allow this, but Jesus teaches that forgiveness is for sinners, not for the self-righteous. The woman, sorry for her sins, has them forgiven by Jesus. When we repent of our sins—which are many—we, too, are forgiven. Thanks be to Jesus that He is a friend of sinners like us!
Saturday, 11 June 2016—Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is Today Your Mercy Calls Us to Wash Away Our Sin (LSB #915). No matter the depth of our sin, the blood of Christ has atoned for it. Through Baptism, our sins are washed away, and Christ exchanges His righteousness for our sins. By faith in Christ, our eternal destiny is life with God forever in heaven.
A prayer for St. Barnabas Day (11 June) - Almighty God, Your faithful servant Barnabas sought not his own renown but gave generously of his life and substance for the encouragement of the apostles and their ministry. Grant that we may follow his example in lives given to charity and the proclamation of the Gospel through Your son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden [The Book of Books in Pictures]) ©WELS.