Löhe on Romans 6,23

rootedFor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23 NIV)

Just as serving sin brought about dying and eternal death so serving righteousness faithfully brings about sanctification and eternal life. Temporal and spiritual dying stand in contrast to the sanctification of this very life, just as eternal death is contrasted with eternal life. A certain succession like steps on a ladder are highlighted here: Service of righteousness – sanctification – eternal life. A tree is drawn before us – glorious and most beautiful. His roots are grounded in the mortal wounds of Jesus Christ. The main stem is service of righteousness. It bears a twofold fruit as its branches spread both across the earth and into heaven. Here it bears sanctification, there it bears eternal life. What a glorious growth and most blessed fruition dear brothers. This new stage in their lives must have really encouraged the Romans as they anticipate these glorious fruits in the present time and future eternity, yes, even experience them here and now already. Those Romans are long dead and gone into the eternal habitations and home of all Christians in heaven. They already enjoy the eternal gifts of God’s grace and mercy, that crowns their lives most favourably. We are still alive. We can have both. Either the fruits of sin and godlessness or those of righteousness. May all recklessness be far away from us and our ways! Ear and heart turn fervently to the holy word of God. May holy deliberations and divine blessings reign our lives – for Christ’s sake!

Lord, our saviour! Let us be filled with a strong aversion of sin and flee its temptations most decidedly. Grant us that we dedicate ourselves entirely to serve righteousness and holiness. Let us grow in you and follow your motivation to grow ever more in holy flourishing and sanctified fruition. Lord, let us move forward joyfully as your very own to your most holy sanctuary this coming Sunday, where you are preparing to present us with your most precious gifts and treasures of grace, peace, love and mercy. We ask  for us and our loved ones near and far, and for all, who preach your word tomorrow and for those who hear it. Amen.

Grant your shepherds power and richest measure of your Holy Spirit to promote pure doctrine and holy lives. You word is the divine pasture for your people on their way. Let all hearers be doers too, so that no hypocrites amongst us may deny your grace’s workings. (Heinrich Cornelius Hecker 1699-1743).

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the seventh Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 270 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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