Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Thursday prior to Proper 23


Hebrews 3:12–19—This portion of our reading through the book of Hebrews also contains an exhortation, that the hearers not be like the Israelites of old, who rebelled against God. No person, on his own, can fully withstand temptation. But God has given us His Word and Sacraments to keep us strong in the faith, and He also provides what our Confessions call the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren (SA III, IV). Therefore, we Christians exhort one another, that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Luther in the Catechism teaches in the sixth petition, “Lead us not into temptation.” God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.[1]

As Christians, we pray that our Father would keep us strong in His Word, since our faith is under constant threat. Thus, we pray that our faith in and love for Jesus would not grow cold with unbelief; that we would stay alert and on guard against threats to our faith and that our Father would guard us against all sins that come from Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh.

Luther concludes in the Large Catechism, “There is no help or comfort except to run here, take hold of the Lord’s Prayer and speak to God from the heart like this: ‘Dear Father, You have asked me to pray. Don’t let me fall because of temptations.’” (LC III 110)

A collect in times of temptation: Almighty God, do not cast away Your people who cry to You in their distress and tribulation, but for the glory of Your name be pleased to help and deliver them; [2] - 07 October, 2021

[1] Explanation to the Sixth Petition, Luther’s Small Catechism, © 2017 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

[2] A collect in times of temptation, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

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