Löhe on Romans 8:16

Holy SpiritThe Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Rom 8:16 NIV)

Whoever has God’s Spirit is his child. He/She hears the invitation to call: “Abba, dear Father!” Whoever can say that from the bottom of his/her heart is under the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit and has been gifted immeasurably with divine privilege and grace. Our heavenly Father answers this filial call from our side by addressing us by name and person for person. The Holy Spirit thus does a twofold work in this regard. He takes these calls from the children and brings them to the ears of the almighty Father, whilst also taking the divine answer and planting that into the heart of the faithful believer. This twofold communication – this exchange of loving calls and answers – makes the Holy Spirit the divine messenger in the Holy Trinity. He’s the communicator, advocate and comforter, who let’s us know, how God is inclined towards us. The Holy Spirit uses holy Scripture to come to us – the divine Word written under his instruction and guidance – speaking godly truths, wisdom, mercies and graces so that we hear and believe them. Without this divine Word and godly instruction in the forgiving gospel and saving truth there is no faith or godly trust on our side. That is why we pray and plead for godly mercy and grace, visit the divine service, listen to God’s most holy Word and use the godly sacraments devotedly and faithfully. We trust that our God and savior will do his most magnificent work of salvation and justification, of forgiving, sanctifying and healing as he deems best and at the most appropriate time. Thanks be to him always!

Oh, Lord our God the Holy Spirit: Grant us your strength and truth that we call upon God our Father. Represent us as we pray and stand in for us with inexpressible sighs and petitions. However let us also hear the comforting response from our Father in heaven. Give us the firm testimony that we are his beloved children and that we have free access to him through Jesus Christ our Lord. Close the troubles of this week. Let us and our beloved ones rest peacefully in you wherever we are. Grant strength, wisdom and grace from on high to all preachers, who proclaim your holy Word tomorrow so that they will do it with joy and holy conviction  and blessed efficacy, so that your Church and congregation will be blessed by this preaching and teaching and that everyone be confirmed in the blessed assurance of being your child eternally. Amen.

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord, With all your graces now outpoured. On each believer’s mind and heart; Your fervent love to them impart. Lord, by the brightness of your light In holy faith your Church untie; From every land and every tongue This to our praise, O Lord, Our God, be sung: Alleluia, alleluia!

Come, holy Light, guide divine, Now cause the Word of life to shine. Teach us to know our God aright And call him Father wit delight. From every error keep us free; Let none buy Christ our master be That we in living faith abide, In him, our Lord, with all our might confide. Alleluia, alleluia!

Come, holy Fire, comfort true, Grant us the will your work to do And in your service to abide: Let trials turn us not aside. Lord, by your power prepare each heart, And to our weakness strength impart That bravely here we may contend, Through life and death to your, our Lord, ascend. Alleluia, alleluia! (Martin Luther, 1483-1546)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the eighth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 277 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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