Our devotion for this Sunday focuses on the Gospel reading and comes from Luther’s Works, Volume 24 (Sermons on the Gospel of St. John Chapters 14–16).
1 Peter 3:13–22
Our gracious heavenly Father provides everything we need to support this body and life. Through the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we strive to keep His Word and follow His commandments as a joyful response to His great gifts.
[Whoever] has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. [John 14:21]
Christ gave His disciples the sublime comfort that they would be in Him and He in them. This is the chief doctrine of Christianity. From it we are to understand that we are not justified and saved in and through ourselves but in and through Christ, who did everything for us, who fulfilled the Law and defeated sin, death, and the devil. “This you will have in Me,” says Christ; “but subsequently I will be praised in you, and you will have to confess and to preach this in all the world. When you have received this from Me, when My blessings have become your own, and when, in turn, your evils, sin, and failings become Mine—just as all that is My Father’s is Mine, and that which is Mine is also My Father’s—then you will come forward. You will administer My Word and commandments, be Christ’s apostles and preachers, and be baptized. You will hear and confess the Word publicly, in order that the world may see and hear that you are My Christians and adhere to My Word and commandments. . . .
“Therefore,” says Christ, “I will give you a sure sign by which the true Christians, who are in Me and in whom I am, can be recognized, namely, the observance of My commandments. You already have all that I am to accomplish in you and all that I am to do for you. I have given you all, have conquered death for you, delivered you from sin, reconciled the Father, and fulfilled the Law. You need nothing else.”
Devotional reading is from Luther’s Works, Volume 24 (Sermons on the Gospel of St. John Chapters 14–16), pages 145–46 © 1961, 1989 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.