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Sunday of Lent 5

Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” — John 8:48–51

Sin is our primary problem. All that we suffer at the hands of the world, the devil, and our sinful flesh is because of sin. Death is the very wages of sin. Yet, Jesus promises us that if we cling to His Word we will never see death. Why? Because His Word of forgiveness cleanses us of the source of death – our sin.

Each and every day it is important for us to acknowledge our sin as we do in the Fifth Petition, so that we may receive the forgiveness that Christ promises us.

Cyprian beautifully summarizes how important it is for us to confess our sin and live in this Word of promise daily: “How necessary, providential and expedient it is for us to be reminded that we are sinners and must ask pardon for our sins. And while we ask for God’s forgiveness, our minds retain an awareness of those sins! Lest anyone become complacent and suffer the fate of flattering himself, he is instructed and reminded that he sins daily, while he is ordered to ask pardon for his sins.

Thus John advises us in his epistle, ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.’ In his epistle there is a twofold connection. We must ask pardon for our sins and obtain forgiveness when we ask pardon. Moreover, he said that the Lord is faithful in pardoning sins and loyal to his promise, for he who taught us to ask forgiveness for our trespasses and sins promised paternal mercy and subsequent pardon” (Treatises, On the Lord’s Prayer, 22–23).

Dear Jesus, help us to cling to Your Word of forgiveness that we might never see death. Amen.

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