Daily Devotional Materials
Week of the
Seventh Sunday after Trinity
– Tuesday –
Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it. – Ephesians 5:25-26.
The one “Holy Christian Church” of which we speak in the Third Article of the holy Christian Creed is the “communion of saints.” that is to say, all Christendom on earth, or the sum total of those who truly believe in Jesus Christ, and in such faith are sanctified to God. Hence only believers truly belong to the Church, but all believers without distinction. They are the Church which Christ has loved, for which He gave Himself, which He sanctified by the Gospel and through the Holy Ghost in faith. This Church is not a visible congregation or organization, whose names and full membership might be given, but an invisible, spiritual congregation, which the Lord only knows, names, and counts, since only the Lord can tell with certainty who believes in Christ and therefore belongs to Him. “The Lord knoweth them that are His.” (2 Timothy 2:19.) The Church is the kingdom of God, Christ’s Kingdom of Grace. And “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, Lo, there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21.) Faith, which makes us members of the Church, the kingdom of God, is within us and is known to the Lord alone. And so the Church is but one. There is but one kingdom of God. It is but “one body and one Spirit.” (Ephesians 4:4.) The Church is holy. Christ has sanctified it through His righteousness given unto it, and through His Spirit, who incorporates it with Him. So it is “holy and without blemish” before God through grace. (Ephesians 5:27.) It, furthermore, is a Christian Church. It is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:20.) And this Church and congregation listen, dear Christian! – is the beloved bride of Christ, to whom, to whom alone, all eternal promises are given. Now examine yourself, whether you are in the faith, and if, therefore, you belong to this Church. Prove your own self! (2 Corinthians 13:5.)
PRAYER. – I believe in Thee, my dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I am Thine; I belong to those who are Thine, to Thy Church. But I cry to Thee: Help my unbelief ! O Thou great Shepherd and Bishop of my soul, keep me, and let me be and remain Thy own unto my dying breath, and then take me home, yes, home to Thee, into Thy secure dwellings. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Thy power make known,
For Thou art Lord of lords alone;
Shield Thy poor Christendom, that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
Hymn 274, 2.(ELHB)
1 Corinthians 7:1-40
7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
2 Samuel 7:1-29
7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? 8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.18 Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?19 And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? 20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.25 And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. 28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
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