Löhe on Galatians 5:21b

law and gospel1I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:21 NIV)

Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21b NIV) That’s like a rolling thunder of truth, justice and judgment over those living like this – even if they are called Christian and have a passionate hope for eternal salvation. No, whoever lives like this is lost. There is repentance and conversion even of these sins as they too can be forgiven. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us of all sin. Yet those who sin willingly, unrepentantly and audaciously while even encouraging others to follow their bad example and themselves don’t seek to follow God’s holy ways  – they are on the way to hell and eternal destruction. Then finally they will realize that their impudent sinning was nothing but lies and vanity of the devil, but then it will be too late for conversion or repentance.

Lord – our creator! We are your craft and handiwork. You gave us body and life to live according to your holy will and promise. There will come a day, when you will require us to answer your calling and we will have to give an account whether we honored these your creative gifts to us appropriately or whether we disregarded and even misused them. You would have us keep and preserve our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore discipline us by thy Holy Spirit. Grant us steadfastness in all temptations. Grant us victory in the ongoing battle against sin and the world. The world is passing away with all its pleasure; yet, he who remains in you and your will, remains forever. Amen. (Church book of Württemberg 1931)

Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise, Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move At the impulse of Thy love; Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee, Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing Always, only, for my King; Take my lips, and let them be Filled with messages from Thee, Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold; Not a mite would I withhold; Take my intellect, and use Every power as Thou shalt choose, Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; It shall be no longer mine. Take my heart; it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne, It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure-store. Take myself, and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee, Ever, only, all for Thee. (Frances R. Havergal, 1874 LH 400)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the fourteenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 317 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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2 Responses to Löhe on Galatians 5:21b

  1. Havergal’s hymn is a beautiful prayer itself.

  2. eric skovgaard says:

    In our North American context, my ears hear “live like this” I think of segments of the Church openly embracing homosexuality. It must be especially difficult in the South African context to make such a confession in the ‘shadow’ of Archbishop Tutu’s embrace of the same. I assume he is respected a lot for his non-violent resistance to apartheid?

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