Devotion 392 – Friday of Pentecost 19

Opening Prayer

Lord, give us the Spirit of revelation in Your knowledge. Amen.

Text: Galatians 2:19-21

“For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Devotion

Again one of those heavenly passages that, when we think of it, seems to surpass all others in glory. – In Romans 7:1-13 Paul has shown how he was dead to the Law by the Law, before he could live for God. Worldly and self-righteous people don’t feel the Law’s condemnation, just as dead flesh does not feel the surgeon’s knife. But the penitent knows that the law works wrath and makes sin alive, so that it kills him through the commandment. And only in this way does the soul learn to hear the Gospel of faith. But this is the Gospel: Christ is crucified for you, and you are thereby crucified; the demand of the law is fulfilled; punishment endured, death’s condemnation suffered, and that with perfect willingness, without sin and without complaint. Christ truly died, not without cause, but as one fully guilty, seized by God’s righteous wrath. But it was for you. Can it be in vain? And now you are baptized into His death (Rom 6:3, Gal 3:27) and through faith you are united with Him, so that His death is yours and His life is yours.

Thus you are dead to the law, so that you can no longer speak about being justified by the law. But thus you are also raised with Christ, so that you shall live the life of Christ before God. The love with which He loved you unto death, He has given to you. He who gave Himself for you, has given Himself to you, and the Spirit has given you faith with which you receive Him and live in Him. You are dead to sin, but alive to God, for Christ lives in you. So the Gospel says. What do you think of that? Wasn’t Christ really crucified and risen, and weren’t you really baptized into His death and resurrection? Shouldn’t it be as God Himself has made it: His death your death, His life your life? “O I do not find His life in me,” you say? I answer: Faith does not hold on to what we find in ourselves, but in what God has done for us and tells us. “The life which I now live in the flesh,” the Apostle says: “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

“Therefore, when speaking about the righteousness of the Christian, one must always put his person aside. For if one wants to stay with his own person and talk about that, he would have to be a ‘saint’ who deals with works and is under the law. Then the Gospel could apply to no one. No, I must set my eyes on nothing except Jesus Christ crucified, who was raised again. For if I turn my eyes away from Christ then I am done for. … Learn with all confidence and boldness to say: ‘I am Christ,’ not personally, but in this way, that ‘Christ’s righteousness, victory, and life belong to me’; for Christ says: ‘I am this poor sinner,’ that is: ‘All his sin and death is My sin and death. He is joined to Me through faith, and I live in him'” (Luther).

Closing Prayer

God, help us to believe with childlike confidence and with all our life to praise You for Your infinite mercy. Amen.

Hymn

The only Son from heaven,
Foretold by ancient seers,
By God the Father given,
In human shape appears;
No sphere His light confining,
No star so brightly shining
As He, our Morning Star.

O time of God appointed,
O bright and holy morn!
He comes, the King anointed,
The Christ, the Virgin-born;
His home on earth He maketh,
And man of heav’n partaketh,
Of life again an heir.

O Lord, our hearts awaken,
To know and love Thee more,
In faith to stand unshaken,
In Spirit to adore,
That we still heavenward hasting,
Yet here Thy joy foretasting,
May reap its fullness there.

Cruciger: The only Son from heaven L 100:1-3 ELH 224 tr. A. T. Russell;
tune: Herr Christ, der einig

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