Twelfth Sunday after Trinity – Thursday
It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. – Romans 1:16 b
Our Lord Jesus Christ by His holy, precious blood has purchased for us forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, and also has given to us the Holy Ghost, working through “the Gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16 a), to kindle faith in us.
These treasures of His grace He has laid down in that precious Gospel; and through this Gospel these treasures are given to us by God Himself. Thus the Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.” And thus the Gospel is a Means of Grace, a means through which God gives us all His grace. And through faith, which God engenders through the Gospel, we enter upon the possession of the treasures of His grace which the Gospel contains for us and gives to us. Thus the Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”
As a treasure casket may contain three compartments filled with treasures, just so the Gospel has three parts by means of each of which the same gifts of grace are bestowed upon us. These three parts are the Word [the Gospel], Holy Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. And so we may say that there are three Means of Grace.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are called Sacraments, or sacred acts. For Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacred acts ordained by God, wherein, by certain external means connected with His Word, He offers, conveys, and seals unto people the grace which Christ has merited for all. The external means connected with God’s Word in Baptism is water; in the Lord’s Supper it is bread and wine.
Through these visible elements, the Sacraments make it very plain and visible for you that God bestows on you, even on you, His grace, that is, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, and also the Holy Ghost. How lovingly concerned God is about us, and how much does He do to firmly convince us that He truly and actually bestows His grace upon us! Therefore, we should indeed freely take of it, and rejoicing in faith, we should thank Him with heart and word and deed.
PRAYER – I thank Thee, my God, for Thy holy Gospel, through which Thou dost reveal, give, and convey to me the saving grace which Christ has procured for me. And I thank Thee for Thy holy Sacraments, through which Thou dost deal with me in particular, and dost seal to me Thy grace by means of visible elements. I pray Thee, my gracious God, thus to make me firm and glad in faith, and altogether sure of Thy grace in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Lord, I believe what Thou hast said;
help me when doubts assail me;
remember that I am but dust,
and let my faith not fail me.
Thy supper in this vale of tears,
refreshes me and stills my fears,
and is my priceless treasure.
(Hymn 306, st. 6; TLH)