LENT

 

THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT   (15 March 2020)

Exodus 17:1–7
Romans 5:1–8
John 4:5–26 (27–30, 39–42)
 

We Worship the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Spirit and Truth of His Gospel

 Though the Lord had brought them out of Egypt, “all the congregation of the people of Israel” grumbled against Him because “there was no water for the people to drink” (Ex. 17:1). Despite their quarreling, the Lord graciously provided for them. He did not strike the people for their sins, but by the hand of Moses He struck the rock instead and brought forth water for the people. In the same way, living water flows from the pierced side of Christ at “about the sixth hour” (John 4:6; 19:14), when He is lifted up on the cross for the sins of the world. He is “the gift of God” (John 4:10), the well from which the Holy Spirit is poured out and becomes in His people “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). By this grace in which we stand, being at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we “worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God” because “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”  (Rom. 5:2, 5)
 
 
 

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SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT   (8 March 2020)

 
Genesis 12:1–9
Romans 4:1–8, 13–17
John 3:1–17
 
The Word of the Gospel Opens the Eyes of Faith and Fixes Them on Christ Jesus
The Lord called Abram (Abraham) to leave his home and go to a land that God would show him. He also promised to make of Abram “a great nation,” to bless him and make his name great as a blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:2–3). “Abram went, as the Lord had told him” (Gen. 12:4), and in Canaan “he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 12:8). He “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). Here the grace of God is manifested, that He “justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5), not by works of the Law, but through faith in His promises. He removes all of our sins and lawless deeds through Jesus Christ, the offspring of Abraham in whom all the Lord’s promises are realized. This forgiveness of sins is the Word of the Gospel, the voice of the Holy Spirit, which “gives life to the dead” (Rom. 4:17). It opens the eyes of faith to behold Christ Jesus, the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, “that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14–15).
 
 

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FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT (1 March 2020)

Genesis 3:1–21

Romans 5:12–19

Matthew 4:1–11

 

The Lord Jesus Christ Is Our Champion against Satan

 

Following His Baptism, Jesus is “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1). As He takes upon Himself the curse of our sin and sets Himself against our enemy, He trusts His Father’s voice and waits upon His Father’s hand for all things. The devil questions His sonship, but the beloved and well-pleasing Son remains faithful and lives “by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus patiently suffers hunger in His mortal flesh and returns to the dust whence man was taken, and by His pain He brings forth food for all the children of men (Gen. 3:18–19). By the sweat of His brow, we eat the fruit of His cross, even as our nakedness is covered by His righteousness. Although all people live in bondage to death through the trespass of the first man, Adam, all the more “have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many” (Rom. 5:15). His righteous obedience “leads to justification and life for all men” (Rom. 5:18).
 

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