Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after Judica (Passion) Sunday

Posted on March 23, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:11-15 (NKJV)
5:11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Although the word “persuasion” sometimes has the negative connotation of deceptive convincing, it doesn’t here! When St. Paul says, “we persuade men,” it is a description of the task which all who occupy the pastoral office are to undertake. Men of God study the Word of God so that we might persuade men. We use the Law of God to convince people that they have sinned, and falling short of that Law, there is the “terror” and threat of God’s punishment. We use the Gospel to persuade men to trust in the promise of the forgiveness of sins, purchased by Christ and freely offered because of God’s graciousness.
Though there were false teachers who were insinuating that St. Paul and St. Timothy were not to be trusted, the Corinthian congregation should have known better. They had been founded by St. Paul, who had persuaded them of the truth of God’s Word. St. Paul had unflaggingly preached to them about Jesus “who died for them and rose again.”
St. Paul would not defend himself, only to say that “the love of Christ compels us.” The Gospel is founded on the vicarious atonement truth “that if One died for all, then all died.” With Christ’s love in them, they reached out to persuade the Corinthians to believe in Christ, escape the coming “terror of the Lord,” and “no longer live for themselves.”
Collect: We beseech Thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon Thy people, that by Thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Lent
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through 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.

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