Reflections: March 2, 2021
Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
By Aaron Fenker
"This is God's will: your sanctification." (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God wants you to be holy. That's His will for your life. You can't get around Paul's words here. There they stand. No qualifications. No misunderstandings. God's will is for you to be sanctified, for you to be holy. So, are you holy? How do you know? Where do you look to know if you're holy before a holy God? What's this holiness supposed to look like, anyway? It looks like Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30)!
You weren't expecting that, were you? You were expecting me to talk about you, your works, your sins, what you do to be holy before a holy God. I know, I know. That's how you think. That's how many Christians talk. Repent! We're hardwired to think and act that way!
What you do doesn't make you unholy. Each one of your sins, even the unholy things we do with our bodies (see verses 3-5 about that) are just symptoms of being sinners. Your unholiness, your flesh, works at a fever's pitch to YOLO. Live it up. Live for yourself. And then, work even harder to make up for it! You're hardwired to live selfishly in your relationships with those in your daily life, and at the same time you're a slave to improving yourself before God. And if you can use His Law to do it? Even better!
What you do doesn't make you holy, either. Your good can't make up for your bad. If you're living that way, well, that is certainly the opposite of "how you ought to please God." "Everything that does not proceed from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). So are you holy? Eternally yes! Only in Jesus. Jesus is your sanctification, your holiness before God. And in Jesus alone, by faith in Him alone, you are the very righteousness of God! Jesus' holiness has been given to you by the Holy Spirit. He's called holy because He makes holy. Through Jesus Word and Gifts the Spirit sanctifies you.
That holiness has fruit! From Him through you. His Gift. Not your work. Need more? Want more? You should. No excuses for sinning allowed. The Lord always has more for you. He'll give it. He has and will: "just as you are doing, that you do so more and more." Ask and you shall receive. He gives it. Whatever God wants, God gets. His will happens, even without our prayer. He wants you holy. He makes you holy. . . in Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
On my heart imprint Your image, Blessed Jesus, King of grace, That life's riches, cares, and pleasures Never may Your work erase; Let the clear inscription be: Jesus, crucified for me, Is my Life, my hope's foundation, And my glory and salvation! ("On My Heart Imprint Your Image" LSB 422)
-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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