Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 21, 2020– Wednesday prior to Reformation

Romans 3:19-28 - In our Epistle lesson for this week, Paul explains the central teaching of the Bible—that God justifies the sinner by grace through faith for Jesus’ sake. The word “Justified” is an important word. The word is associated with a court. The judge acquits the guilty one. He is exonerated and allowed to go free. It is not that he was innocent, but the judge accounted him as innocent because of the penalty paid by another, Christ. The sinner is not righteous, but he is accounted or considered righteous for Jesus’ sake.

The righteousness of God is not the popular understanding of goodness, perfection, or justice. In the scriptures, righteousness means right-relatedness to God. This understanding of the word gave Luther his liberation and insight into the Gospel. It is not a word to fear or to cringe at the wrath of God. It means God’s goodness is approaching in good will to offer us reconciliation and peace. By grace we experience the righteousness of God by being rightly related to him through faith.

God passed over sins previously committed. This was demonstrated in the Passover event in the Old Testament. When the Lord saw the blood splattered on the doorpost He bypassed that house and spared those who remained inside. They were safe because of the mark. What He did in Egypt he does in your life.

God’s mark was placed on you on the day you were baptized. You received the sign of the a cross upon your forehead and upon your heart as a sign that you have been redeemed by Christ the crucified. Whenever you make the sign of the cross {as a devotional aid} you are reminding yourself of this reality. Because of the cross – your sins are forgiven. The Father has passed them over. 

Likewise, Christ’s sacrifice for sin is a sacrifice that satisfies and angry and offended God. What good news. “There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Christ Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[1]

[1] Collect for Reformation, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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