Reflections: November 24, 2020
Tuesday of the Last Week
By Aaron Fenker
For God has not appointed us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died FOR US, that either awake or asleep we would live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and build one another up, just as you are also doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God doesn't want wrath for you. He doesn't want to send you to hell, condemning you, destroying you. He wants to save. That's His eternal will for you. From eternity the Triune God planned to save you, chose you in Jesus. And so that's exactly what God did.
He appointed you to obtain salvation, that is, to reach salvation, to receive salvation. He did that through Jesus. He died for us, for all of us! For God the Father loved the world in that way, by giving up His Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. You are saved because Jesus died for you. You obtain that salvation, receive it. It's delivered to you. We don't want to miss this point. It's important for the last part of what Paul's saying here. So often we glide right past it as Lutherans.
The Triune God managed everything so that you would obtain salvation at the font in the water and Word of Holy Baptism. He made it so that you would be able to hear and receive His Word. God the Father created bread and wine, the Son chose them and spoke over them His Word to deliver His Body and Blood for your forgiveness, and the Spirit hand-picked your pastor so that you have His man to deliver not only that Body and Blood, but also Absolution, preaching, and Baptism.
You, too! You're in on the Lord's appointing people for obtaining salvation. For as Paul says, "Therefore comfort each other and build one another up, just as you are also doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). He's given you to your neighbor to point him to the Lord's delivering of salvation through His Word and Gifts. You comfort those around you with the comfort of the Gospel that says, "Jesus Christ died and rose for you."
This means that you will live with Him, and I will, too! We've heard and received and believed that Jesus died and rose for us. God moved history to make this happen. So, you're saved! What comfort! Now it doesn't matter if you live or die, you will live again with Jesus. After all, God has appointed you to obtain this salvation, receive it, believe it. And through His Son and by the Spirit that's exactly what happens for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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