1 Corinthians 15:1-3
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law
But let us consider that the gospel has not been given to the world in vain. Christ was not promised, revealed, born, suffered, and raised in vain. Those who reflect upon this will readily understand that we are not justified by reason or the law. Thus, we are obligated to differ with the adversaries about justification. For the gospel shows another mode: it compels us to avail ourselves of Christ for justification. The gospel teaches that we have access to God through Christ by faith, that we ought to set him as mediator and propitiator against God's wrath. It teaches that forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, and triumph over the terrors of sin and of death are received by faith in Christ.
Pulling It Together: We inherit the kingdom through faith, just as an orphan receives a new family. When a child is adopted, she must follow her new family through the orphanage doors. It must be confusing. The orphanage has always been her home, the director her parent, the other orphans her brothers and sisters. She must now leave that world behind; and she must do so in faith. Who could believe that someone wants her as his own child? Yet that is precisely what is called for: belief, trust, faith.
We too have been called to walk across a threshold, to leave behind the hopeless realm of sin and death. To do so, we must have faith in Christ’s call to follow him. Once we do, our faith in, and even our works for God are not in vain. For our hope in the gospel, our holding fast to the Word, is a true and certain hope.
Prayer: Help me stand fast upon your word, Lord. Amen.
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C Is for Christmas — A group of children get together to put on a Christmas program for their church and can’t decide whether to present a program about Christmas hymns, symbolic ornaments for the Church’s Christmas tree, or the meaning of Christmas. Rather than argue about it, they decide to do all three. This delightful Christmas program is written to include all ages in Sunday School and is a downloadable PDF.