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The Just Shall Live by Faith

Romans 1:1-17

Rev. John F. Wurst

Matins on KFUO AM
The Lutheran Church of Christ the King  
Duluth, Minnesota

Mon, Jan 7, 2013 

"For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:2)

Romans 1:1-17

KFUO Matins (01-07-2013)

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

St. Paul writes in verse 17, "The just shall live by faith." He quotes the prophet Habbakuk. Why do these two preachers say these words to the Church? What do these words mean?

The last word is probably pretty simple. Faith. Faith is a gift God creates in the sinner in Holy Baptism and through hearing the Word of God. Faith is sustained through the preaching and teaching of God's Word and also the reception of the Lord's Supper.

However, what does it mean to be just? Who are the just? Why do the just live by faith? Let me start with the who - that you, the Baptized. You are the just. Now to the the what.

To be just is to be made righteous. To be restored into fellowship with the Father who is in heaven. To be just means someone has declared you not guilty of your sins. To be just means you are vindicated, that is, set free, from your bondage and captivity to sin, death, and the power of the devil.

You, the sinner, who seeks the desires of the flesh daily, who follows the ways of this fallen world every chance you get, and who doesn't fight back against the devil's temptations, you are the very one whom Jesus, God's eternal Son, came into this world to save. He came to save sinners like you.

Jesus came to save the lost. He stepped into your place, by taking humanity into His divinity, and became true Man. He became flesh for you. Jesus took your sins upon His shoulders and He suffered for you. His Father poured out His wrath against your sins which were heaped upon His Son, along with the sins of every man, woman, and child ever born, and Jesus endured it all for you, in your place, unto death, even death on the cross.

Through His suffering and death, Jesus made right that which went so wrong so long ago in the Garden in Eden. When Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, He justified you before His Father. He declared you not guilty of your sins because He became sin for you and bore your sins and paid the price for them. By His stripes you are healed.

Finally, the why. Why do the just live by faith? You live by faith because your life is in Christ. You were given life from above in Holy Baptism. Your life is not own own but is God's. You live by faith because you love God and desire to serve Him, worship Him, and also to serve your neighbor.

You are just because of Jesus. Not by your own works or desires but by the Blood of the Son of God that was shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins. Jesus is the justifier. Jesus is your salvation. Jesus says to you today, Go in peace. Your sins are forgiven.

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.

+ SDG +

(C) Rev. John F. Wurst

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