Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 17, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16 (NKJV)
3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same 6rule, let us be of the same mind.
The Christian is at the same time a sinner and a saint. He is a sinner according to the works of the flesh but sanctified through the forgiveness of sins. He is carnal according to the corruption of the Old Adam but renewed by the Spirit according to the New Man. He is at war within himself between these two great influences—neither wholly one nor the other. While our justification is perfect since it is based on the perfect righteousness of Christ, our lives of sanctification are always lacking.
And so, like the Apostle Paul we must always be striving toward the example which Christ has left for us. Christ went to such great lengths to rescue us from our sins and to sanctify us by His blood; He has apprehended us by His Spirit to bring us to the world to come. With that in mind, we must first lay hold onto His perfect righteousness for our justification. And as God has forgiven us for Jesus’ sake, we too should put off our past sins and push forward in godly living. Insofar as we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, we must work with the Spirit against our flesh. By the grace of God and with the help of like-minded brethren, we will finally achieve the goal of our salvation to the glory of God the Father.
Prayer: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit, that being ever mindful of the end of all things, and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; 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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