Third Sunday after Trinity – Friday
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. —I John 3:8.
How did sin enter the world? This is a question which human reason cannot answer. Our Catechism is right in answering from the Word of God: “By the devil, who was once a holy angel but fell away from God, and by man, who of his own free will yielded to the temptation of the devil” (Q/A 92). So the very first originator of sin is the devil. “The devil sinneth from the beginning,” that is to say, he was the first one to sin; with him sin originated.
How it came about that a great many of the angels whom God created holy fell into sin we cannot say for certain, nor can we comprehend it. God has not fully revealed this to us in the Scriptures. He only says that it was done, and that Satan, the prince of the fallen angels, seduced the first man and woman, who of their own free will allowed themselves to be misled. So it came about that also “by one man sin entered into the world,” into the world where man dwells (Romans 5:12). But, as stated above, the devil is the originator of sin. And he that lives in sin is of the devil; he is not of God, he is of the devil, begotten of the devil, is the devil’s child, like the devil, of the same nature as the devil.
This may sound harsh; but it is true, fully true. So says St. John, “the Apostle of love,” who wrote this by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Our dear and loving Savior said the same thing to the unbelieving Jews: “Ye are of your father, the devil” (John 8:44). Since the fall of Adam all men, by nature, are of the devil. There is no difference. Awful! But thanks be to God that “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). You know this from the Gospel. Through faith in the Son of God you – poor sinner – are a child of God, His beloved child, to whom God forgives all sins, and whom God purifies ever more by the Holy Ghost. And finally, in eternal life, He will make you like unto Himself, perfectly holy, without sin.
PRAYER – My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God, strong and merciful Helper and Savior, I thank Thee that Thou hast made me – who was a child of the devil by nature – Thou hast made me a child of God, and from dire bondage didst exalt me to the most blessed liberty, from deepest degradation unto highest honors. Help, O help me, that through faith I may retain this grace and precious gift of Thine, and thus obtain eternal salvation by Thy free grace alone. Amen.
He saw me ruined in the Fall, yet loved me notwithstanding all.
He saved me from my lost estate – His loving-kindness, oh, how great!
When I was Satan’s easy prey, and deep in debt and bondage lay,
He paid His life for my discharge – His loving-kindness, oh, how large!
Hymn 340, 2. 3 (TLH)