Christ knew that the coming of the kingdom of God and divine truth would offend sinful man and He would be killed. He came to do battle with evil. He did not come to give peace on earth. We are reminded that as long as our sinful nature exists that we will not know peace, but must constantly do battle against our selfish desires.
When God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the hatefulness of sin, then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law. We learn that our flesh doesn't care. It does not fear God and is not certain that we are cared for by God. It imagines that people are born and die by chance. We do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when we hear about the Gospel and the forgiveness of sins, we are consoled through faith, we receive the Holy Spirit so that now we are able to think correctly about God, to fear and believe God. It is clear that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Spirit.
We profess that the work of the Law must be begun in us. Human nature is far too weak to resist the devil by its own powers. He holds as captive everyone who has not been freed through faith. There is need for Christ's power against the devil. For we know that for Christ's sake we are heard and have the promise. We may pray for the governance and defense of the Holy Spirit, that we may neither be deceived and err, nor be pushed to do anything against God's will. Christ has overcome the devil, and has given to us the promise and the Holy Spirit, in order that-by divine aid-we ourselves may also overcome. 1 John 3:8 says, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." (paragraphs 14,15,17,18)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.