Reflections: April 13, 2021
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is a real impact upon our lives when the Holy Spirit, through the Word and Sacraments of Jesus, creates in us the gift of faith. Luther in his preface to his Romans commentary wrote, "Faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God (John 1:23). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts, and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it." How can we be sure of this? "For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree" (1 John 5:7). John 19:34 records: "But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."
After Jesus rose from the grave, He gave His Holy Spirit to His Church (breathing the Spirit upon the apostles and pouring His Spirit upon the Church) and guess what? The Holy Spirit still uses the water of Christ and the blood of Christ to flow upon and into Christians. You have received Christ's water in Holy Baptism and you receive Christ's Blood in Holy Communion. Through these, the Holy Spirit protects you! Christ for you means that you have the Victor over anything and everything in the world that threatens the forgiveness of your sins, your eternal life, and your great salvation in Christ.
This does not mean that sin, the world, and the devil will not still harass you and even cause you great pain (we get to taste some of His suffering for us), but it does mean that nothing in this world is stronger than the One your faith clings to! Nothing! "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life" (1 John 5:11-12a). And who overcomes the world? "The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God" (1 John 5:5). Your Savior is so strong for you that your enemies cannot snatch you out of His hand (John 10:28). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord Jesus, in Your ministry of teaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick, You proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom of God. Send us into all the world to announce that today, in You, Scripture has been fulfilled, the new creation has come, and the healing of the nations is here; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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