Third Sunday in Advent – Monday
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above)? Or, Who shall descend into the deep (that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead)? But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach. – Romans 10:6-8.
What do these words teach? They teach this: If you would have Christ and, with Him, the righteousness that avails before God, do not be dismayed and do not say, “How shall I ascend into heaven to get Christ down from above?” or “How shall I descend into the deep to bring Christ up again from the dead?” But this is what you must cheerfully and confidently say: “I have the Word, the Word of faith in Christ. I have that Word in my Bible; that Word is preached to me; that Word is in my heart. I believe it. That Word is in my mouth. I confess it. That Word is very near to me and is my own. And just so near, and just so my own, is Christ, and with Him, the righteousness that avails before God.”
Indeed, so shall you say. For Christ has put Himself and the righteousness which He procured and with which you can stand before God, into the Word, that you should take it and receive it as your own. So you need not join in the lament of those who tell of their great pain and sorrow and loss of peace at not finding Jesus, and who long for wings, that they might soar over hill and valley to seek Him.
On the contrary, you may shout for joy and say – “Lord, Thou art with me, Thou art with me in Thy Word.”
PRAYER. – Indeed, O my Lord Jesus, my righteousness in which I, a poor sinner, may stand before God – my life and my salvation – Thou art with me. Thou hast put Thyself and all Thy salvation into the Word, and thus Thou comest to me, and are very near to me, and do embed Thyself in the inmost recesses of my heart, to make me sure that Thou wilt be mine in all eternity. I give unceasing thanks to Thee for this – Thy great mercy and gracious kindness. Grant me a rich measure of Thy Holy Spirit, working through Thy Word, that, at all times, I may hold Thee and never leave Thee, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou forever near;
Teach me to love Thy sacred Word
And view my Savior here.
Hymn 284, 6.