Devotion for Aug 12, 2017
A Simple Family Devotion for August 12, 2017
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit
Deeds Reveal the Justified
The Athanasian Creed ends with some very difficult language: “At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give account concerning their own deeds. And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.” On the surface, this seems contrary to the doctrine of justification by faith. It sounds as if works plays a big part on whether one is judged righteous or not. It is the same when Jesus tells us that that the false prophet will be recognized by his fruit and that the kingdom of heaven is not open to all that call Him Lord. Doing good reveals the goodness of the person while doing evil reveals the vileness of the person. Jesus is speaking of the healthiness of a person’s inside being recognized on the outside by what is done. A person that fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things will have fruit that bears witness to that while a person that clings to any idol will produce fruit according to that faith. Recognizing and embracing the love of God for us in Jesus Christ, will produce good works in the love that we show to our neighbors.
The Athanasian Creed (vv. 27-40)
But it is also necessary for everlasting salvation that one faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man. He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ: one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds. And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire. This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Week
Grant to us, Lord, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without You, may be enabled by You to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayers for Self and Others
Optional Readings from Scripture and The Lutheran Confessions