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First Sunday in Lent

Our devotional reading this Sunday focuses on the Epistle and comes from Commentary on Romans: Second English Edition.

Scripture Readings

Genesis 3:1–21
Psalm 32:1–7
Romans 5:12–19
Matthew 4:1–11

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

On the cross, Christ Jesus defeated our greatest enemies of sin, death, and the devil. When we feel overwhelmed and despairing because of sin, we look to this cross to find forgiveness and life eternal. Let us rejoice in knowing that because of God’s grace, sin no longer has a hold on us!

Devotional Reading

The language in the text can be satisfactorily explained in this way: And the case of the gift is not like the case of sin, which destroyed men through the one who sinned. Paul adds this statement most prudently and necessarily to show the dissimilarity of the reign of sin and the reign of grace. He teaches that the dissimilarity is that grace is more fruitful and more powerful than sin. This dissimilarity needs to be set forth. For if sin and grace had equal power, how would we be saved if sin damned equally? The conscience must know that grace is more powerful, first, because it does away with sin through the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of righteousness, by which imputation we are accepted, although sin and infirmity clings in us. Also, the effect is more powerful because it resists sin and the devil, and brings new and eternal life.

The godly should diligently consider this superiority of grace in order that they may oppose it to the magnitude of their sin and to their present weakness. No sin, no matter how great, ought to be considered greater than grace. Likewise, although the saints are still weak, they should know that grace is more fruitful.

Paul exaggerates this dissimilarity and adds: “Judgment from one [resulted] in condemnation,” that is, the one sin of Adam brought universal condemnation to posterity. Moreover, grace abolished many sins, that is, both original and actual, both the roots and the fruits, etc. For this reason they are pleasing because of Christ.

Devotional reading is from Commentary on Romans: Second English Edition, pages 138–39 © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Prayer

Eternal, omnipotent God, . . . In Adam, I was held captive by the chains of sin. You broke those chains. In Adam, I perished. You desired to save me again. Who am I, miserable worm, that You were so anxious for my redemption and desired to do so much for my salvation? . . . You showed Your incomprehensible and unspeakably great love toward us when You promised a Son, a Savior, to the first parents after the fall (Genesis 3:15). In the fullness of time, You sent this Savior to us. Through Him, You recall us from death to life, from sin to righteousness, from hell to heavenly glory. . . . My soul is astounded as I reflect on this kindness. It is deeply moved and melts in love for You. Amen.

Prayer is from Meditations on Divine Mercy, pages 62–64 © 1992, 2003 M. C. Harrison. Published by Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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