Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me
Certainty is a blessed thing. St. John writes, “If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:21). Such confidence before God you find in Jesus, not in yourself. Of course, some exist who try to find surety in themselves or in other things other than God’s Son. And for a time, that surety may remain, but then it is soon taken away in a blink of eye, a fleeting thought, always temporary and not lasting.
Confidence in self or man-made things, teachings, activities, etc. do not give lasting confidence before God. But the work and word of Christ do give such confidence, such hope—the hope that cannot be ungiven or undone, for Jesus Christ died and is alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18). The word and Word of Christ cannot be undone. It is already. And it’s for you.
Nothing surpasses the certainty of God’s favor in Christ Jesus.
So St. Paul writes, “What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11).
Such certainty Paul had because of Jesus. Such certainty also do you have—in Jesus.
And such certainty does the Lord give by means of His faithfully preached Word, that you also continue in such certainty—that you continue in Christ. Amen.
Therefore let the preacher of the Gospel be sure that his calling is from God. It is perfectly proper that he should follow Paul’s example and exalt this calling of his, so that he may gain credence and authority among the people. To glory this way is not vain but necessary; for he does not glory in himself but in the king who has sent him and whose authority he seeks to have honored and elevated. (Luther’s Lectures on Galatians, LW 26, p16)
Prayer: Dear Lord, bless our pastor with faithfulness to Your Holy Word, and give us ears to hear, that we, too, would have such confidence as You Yourself give in Your Word, and have such certainty of your favor and kindness toward us on account of Jesus Your Son. Amen.
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