Reflections: August 5, 2021
Thursday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:12–13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you look at the sinners, the rebelling Israelites, the Pharisees in the Scriptures, and you don't say, "Wow. . . that's me," then you are not a Christian. These are God's own words. Christ says, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32). If you don't see yourself as one of the sinners, one of the sexually immoral, or those who put Christ to the test, or those who grumble over the Word of God and His chosen leaders, Christ did not come to call you. If you are not one of these sinners, the Church isn't for you. Christ isn't for you.
We're supposed to identify with the side that God is mad at, not with Him and the righteous ones. He tells us that's why these things were written down for us. "Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction." These things are here as examples for us. We're supposed to identify with them. We're supposed to see the consequence of our sin. We're not supposed to like it. There are parts of the Bible we won't like. They're supposed to upset us.
We're upset because we're starting to realize that we're sinners. The things we have done, the things we do, and our sin inherited from Adam are all the exact opposite of God. In these examples, we see what happens to these people whose actions and words strike so close to home. Twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. They were destroyed by serpents. Destroyed by the Destroyer Himself. Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall.
Paul never promises that God won't give you more than you can handle. God gives you His Law, which you clearly can't handle. He does, however, provide the way of escape. It isn't that we can just escape being sinners. It's that we can escape the destruction such sin brings. We can escape and take refuge under a powerful promise. God is faithful. When we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. When we repeated the sins of our forefathers, God bore the wrath Himself upon the Cross. God is faithful. He provides the way of escape. That way is Jesus, who bears the Cross for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, when we fall or go astray, Absolve and lift us up, we pray; And through the Sacrament increase Our faith till we depart in peace. ("Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain" LSB 865, st.4)
-Rev. Harrison Goodman is the pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
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