Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Today's Reading: Romans 5:1-5

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 24:1-31; Mark 7:24-37

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. To be justified by faith means to be justified by Jesus, whose salvation is received by us with the "Amen" of faith. To be justified by faith is to have a certain peace and rest before God because we have been rescued from trying to please God. We have been saved from trying to impress Him. We can freely give up the effort to make ourselves look good to Him. To be justified by faith is nothing other than the Canaanite woman gladly admitting she's a dog who gets crumbs, or Jacob saying he won't let go until the Lord blesses Him.

To be justified by faith is to have the forgiveness of sins that Jesus won for the world by His death on the cross delivered to you and made your own through faith. Faith isn't a "measure of how much I believe," nor is it the simple declaration of the fact that Jesus died. Jesus did die, and faith then says, "He died for me." Jesus rose. Faith says, "He rose for me." Jesus' death and resurrection accomplish the salvation of the world. Faith says, "That's my salvation. I, too, am saved."

That faith that justifies is always connected to Jesus' promises. It's connected by the water and Word of Baptism. It's connected by the preaching and absolving your pastor does. It's connected by the very real Body and Blood of Jesus which is given to you to eat and to drink.

The peace that comes through our justification by faith in Christ is a peace that has happily given up every pretense of trying to impress God, or prove to Him that we are worthy. Faith rests in the promise of God that, for Jesus' sake, we are good to go. Forgiveness is yours. Eternal life is yours. Every good gift and blessing in Christ is yours, for you have been justified--declared and made righteous. Jesus' says so. And faith says, "Amen to that!" In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

All glory to our Lord and God For love so deep, so high, so broad; The Trinity whom we adore Forever and forevermore. (O Love, How Deep, LSB 544:7)

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