Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent

Posted on December 5, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19 (NKJV)
 
22:1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
 
And he said, “Here I am.”
 
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
 
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
 
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
 
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
 
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
 
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
 
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
 
So he said, “Here I am.”
 
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
 
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
 
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
 
19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
 
Devotion
 
“The Lord will provide” was Abraham’s ‘Old Testament’ language, for he trusted in the true sacrifice that was promised to come through the Messiah (or Christ). Our ‘New Testament’ language says “The Lord has provided.” In both languages the focal point is the provision of the Lord offering the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. It is Christ’s atonement that is revealed as the object of faith!
 
Unfortunately, there is a false teaching that takes the focus off of Christ’s fully atoning sacrifice as the object of faith. It is a man-made philosophical idea of “objective justification”, which teaches the idea that God declared all of sinful humanity forgiven and justified (considered fully righteous) apart from faith; this would include unbelievers and those in Hell.
 
It is taught that such an idea must exist—apart from faith—in order for forgiveness to be given at all. Such an idea is not what was passed down from Adam and Eve to Abraham. Holy Scripture teaches forgiveness and justification as only being declared through faith alone in Christ’s fully atoning merits. Thus, Christ (as the proper object) is the author and perfecter of faith—the Mercy Seat to which sinners flee for forgiveness, life, and salvation.
 
Abraham was being tested in his belief in God providing the Messiah. Was there going to be a propitiation (substitute), One to make full satisfaction for sins? The answer is a Messianic, Christ-crucified-centered, “yes!” The Lord has provided Christ Jesus and His fully atoning merits. The Lord continues to provide as Christ and His merits come through His Word and Sacraments, and the Lord will provide conclusively, as Christ will come in His full glory at the end of time!
 
Pray Psalm 100
1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
 
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.
 
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Pastor R. Moll on December 5, 2018

It is wonderful to see devotions which are Scriptural and Lutheran. Would that more would read them.

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