Devotion 7 – Friday of Advent 1

Opening Prayer

Lord, let Your Word enter our hearts and make them alive. Amen.

Text: Romans 5:17-21

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Devotion

By Adam’s fall death became powerful and would have ruled over us all, even if we had not blatantly transgressed God’s Law. The offense of one was the offense of all. The same is also true with Christ and His righteousness: all who receive it have the ruling power of life. There the one, here the One; the offense of one, the offense of all; the righteousness of One, the righteousness of all. We are saved by His obedience alone, not by His and ours, by His life, His victory, His fulfilling the Law, without any addition of our works. He alone has crushed the serpent’s head. The High Priest alone went in with the offering for the sins of the world. David alone slew Goliath. No one was with our Redeemer when He trod the winepress of wrath. Yes, the obedience of One saves not only from the one fall, when we all fell with Adam. Many offenses have come since Adam’s offense, but no other saving obedience has come besides the One. The Law works transgressions, so that the offenses have become many. But by the obedience of Christ alone satisfaction is made for every offense, so that there is no room for any other atoning obedience besides this one. Sin in the world has become overwhelming, and thus the terrible reign of death. But in the kingdom of Christ grace rules gloriously through His righteousness. Unbelievers are servants of sin, but Christ’s people are all free. They are not yet without sin. They feel their guilt with pain and they could never stand before the judgment of God’s holy Law. But in Christ they are under grace, not under the Law. There is no more beautiful saying than this: “As sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Blessed be Christ!

Closing Prayer

Let this Gospel stand imprinted before our eyes through our whole life and in our last hour. Do this, good Holy Spirit, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Hymn

My Jesus is my Splendor,
My soul’s bright beaming Sun;
Were He not my Defender,
Before God’s awful throne,
I never should find favor
And mercy in His sight,
But be destroyed forever,
As darkness by the light.

He canceled my offenses,
And saved my soul from death;
‘Tis He who ever cleanses
Me from my sins through faith.
In Him I can be cheerful,
Bold, and undaunted aye.
In Him I am not fearful
Of God’s great Judgment Day.

Gerhardt: If God Himself be for me L 225:4-5 ELH 517:4-5 tr. R. Massie;
tune: Ist Gott für mich

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