Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Second Day of Lent

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Galatians 5:5-14 (NKJV)
5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Faith works through love when it observes God’s Law—no matter how small the legal demand. If false teachers demand any compromise of Gospel freedom, they must be resisted for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saint Paul argues against any submission to the misapplied legal requirements of the Old Testament (the Law) for the goal of winning redemption or salvation in the tiniest way. Justification before God comes only through His promised Redeemer and faith in Him.
Gospel freedom leads one to live by the power and leading of the Spirit. It means struggling against the flesh and its desires in the power of the regenerate Spirit which moves on a level that the Law’s threats and condemnation can no longer touch. The message of Christ’s death becomes a reality in those who belong to Christ through faith. The Apostle drives home the danger of compromising this Gospel reality, as well as his contempt for such compromisers, with his brutal assessment of recommending they “would even cut themselves off” if they are so fond of circumcision. Our righteousness is in Christ and His Spirit, not in our works or the things of our flesh, so our faithful love for others does not come from us. It comes from our Savior.
Prayer: O Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully hear our prayers and, having set us free from the bonds of sin, defend us from all evil; 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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