Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday within the Octave of the Feast of Pentecost

Posted on May 21, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 3:16-21 (NKJV)
3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
He who believes on the Son of God, the Lord Jesus, the Christ, has eternal life with Him in heaven. This is the promise that our Lord makes to Nicodemus at night when he comes to Him to learn about who He is. This reading from the third chapter of St. John is specifically placed in this Octave of the Feast of Pentecost for our hearing. For faith—belief—is not something we drum up in ourselves. It is given to us by the Holy Ghost through the Means of Grace. Faith is not our work, but the Lord God’s.
We will hear more about this on the Feast of the Holy Trinity, where our Lord Jesus teaches Nicodemus about the importance of being baptized. The Holy Ghost, through the means of Holy Baptism, makes those who are born of the flesh to be born of the Spirit. To be born of the Spirit means that one trusts fully in the Lord God. To believe on the Lord God means that he is not condemned with the rest of the unbelieving world. He rather has been gifted with eternal life in the Lord Jesus, with all the other saints who have clung to Him in faith. This is why we teach that one of the gifts of the Sacraments is eternal life. We receive this gift through faith, given through means.
Collect: O God, Who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of Thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; 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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