Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on October 16, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15-22 (NKJV)
3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Our hope is in Jesus Christ, who conquered death and perfectly manifested love, meekness, power, and authority. When we tell others what we believe, or try to help them with the counsel of God’s Word, we are called to do so according to our Savior’s example. Our Lord was never rude or puffed up. He was patient and kind, even when He rebuked wicked men who moved against Him. We are to do likewise in whatever ways are appropriate to our vocations.
In our age there is so much temptation to be spiteful and condescending. People spew forth words about what they want and what they think, and it is very easy to get drawn into the fires and battles that come from the overabundance of vain talking. God’s Word and Spirit teach us to do otherwise, as we have seen throughout this week’s readings. Our words are to be clear and faithfully focused. Our speech and our works are to serve the kingdom of God and His righteousness that comes from Christ crucified. Those who reject Christ’s truth ought to be taught and admonished, but our Lord will do so through us according to His will and grace, not because of our own heavy-handed efforts. Our hope is in Christ and His righteousness, not in compelling others one way or the other. We mourn when sinners are prisoners of their own vanity, but we rejoice when He brings a soul to repentance and new life. But either way, our hope is firm in our Savior, Jesus Christ!
Prayer: O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully grant that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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