Wednesday after Misericordias Domini
Scripture: St. John 5:31-47 (NKJV)
5:31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.
33 “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36 “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?
45 “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The Law of God rightly accuses us of our many sins. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that our sins are forgiven, that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, not by our works according to the Law (Eph. 2:8-9). These are good and holy concepts that the Lord gives us in His Word.
Unfortunately, Satan and false teachers take these ideas and misapply them. Satan says things that sound like the Gospel. “You will not surely die…you will be like God…” (Gen. 3:4-5). Or he can offer comfort from the Psalms, “He shall give his angels charge over you…” (Ps. 91:11, Matt. 4:6). But they are twisted lies. False teachers follow his lead and make themselves seem faithful and pious by keeping their own version of the Laws given through Moses. They call themselves faithful children of God while they are careless and rebellious against what He actually says to them.
The true Son of God teaches us to repent when we are rightly condemned by the Law, and to believe the Gospel of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ’s Words and works. We are made holy by Him alone, declared righteous on account of the faith He creates in us, and enabled to do righteous works on account of His power and help.
We pray: God, who by the humiliation of Thy Son didst raise up the fallen world, grant unto Thy faithful ones perpetual gladness, and those whom Thou hast delivered from the danger of everlasting death do Thou make partakers of eternal joys; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.