Saturday after the Eighth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:11—7:16 (NKJV)
6:11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.”
7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. 5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more. 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you. 13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true. 15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. 16 Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” The great promises St. Paul speaks of deal with the Lord promising to dwell within the baptized and be their God, so that the baptized belong to God and God belongs to them. The second promise is that God will be a Father to them, making them His sons and daughters. These are great promises indeed! The Lord promises to be with us, to dwell within us by faith so that we belong to the Lord! He promises that we are His sons and daughters, co-heirs with Christ of all the heavenly blessings! All of this He promises us in His Word and all of this He gives us in Holy Baptism.
Therefore, since we are baptized and have received such great promises, St. Paul urges us to cleanse ourselves from all the world’s filthiness of body and soul. Baptism calls us to daily put the Old Adam in us to death with all his sinful desires. All manner of lusts, ambitions, avarice, greed, and self-worship are to be killed off by daily repentance. Not only is the flesh to be mortified, but the new man is to be nurtured, cultivated, and grow by faith in God’s promises, so that we grow in holiness in the fear of God. If we kill the Old Adam but the New does not rise up in his place, the Old Adam will only grow stronger. Let us, therefore, daily recall these great promises God made to us in Holy Baptism, that we repent, believe the Gospel, and grow in good works to serve our neighbor.
Lord God, grant that we may daily live in Your baptismal promises. Amen.