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2 Corinthians

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 


Thursday of Epiphany 3

28 January 2016

I often feel struck dumb by the grace of God. How can anyone fully extol the glorious richness of the divine favor toward us? Who could describe with sufficient power that God transfers to our account through the Word and Sacraments the righteousness of Jesus Christ? What preacher can find all the words necessary to teach the sublime fact that Christ Himself takes on Him our filth, sin, and guilt? Often we are reduced merely to repeating the words of Scripture that "God made Him to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21). But such a reduction is appropriate to the subject matter, for only God can speak of such deep and humanly unaccountable things. We cannot speak highly enough nor often enough of the mystery of divine righteousness given to us as a gift.
He is my substitute. What is His is mine: His righteousness, holiness, obedience, and life. What is mine is His: my sin, filth, shame, guilt, and death. What can you say about that?


Martin Luther

"We must magnify the doctrine of Christian righteousness in opposition to the righteousness of the law and of works, even though there is no voice or eloquence that can properly understand, much less express, its greatness. Therefore the argument that Paul presents here (Gal 3:13) is the most powerful and the highest of all against all the righteousness of the flesh; for it contains this invincible and irrefutable antithesis: If the sins of the whole world are on that one man, Jesus Christ, then they are not on the world. But if they are not on Him, then they are still on the world. Again, if Christ Himself is made guilty of all the sins that we have all committed, then we are absolved from all sins, not through ourselves or through our own works or merits but through Him. But if He is innocent and does not carry our sins, then we carry them and shall die and be damned in them. 'But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.' (1Co 15:57)."
O Lord, let me live in the joy of Your righteousness which You give in exchange for my sin and filth. Amen.
For all who will receive Christ's body and blood in the holy sacrament of the altar in divine services on Sunday, that they might receive it in true faith
For President Matthew Harrison of the LCMS, that God the Lord would send him the Holy Spirit by the Word of God
For temperate weather, that we might receive the fruits of the earth in due season
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  The Crucifixion (c. 1515)

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