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Fifth Sunday in Lent (1888)

John 8:46-59 A. The world is not one among themselves in everything. Some live in gross sins, others feel compelled to keep to external respectability. But the world is united in one thing: in enmity against Christ and His Word. This is found in all children of the world without exception. From where might this hostility come from? Does the world actually seriously mean it? And finally what will it take for an exit? We learn this from our Gospel today. The bitter enmity of the godless world against Christ and His Word; 1. from where it comes, a. from the fact that the world is not of God1, and b. from the fact that they want to do pleasure according to their father, the devil2; 2. how hard it is, a. as the Jews blasphemed Christ3, so the world now scolds and blasphemes God and His Word, b. as the Jews despised the blessedness of Christ offered to them, so also the world is full of contempt of the heavenly goods offered in the Gospel4, c. as the Jews wanted to stone Jesus, so the world now pursues Christ's kingdom and its members, in particular servants of His Word; 3. in what misfortune it brings people, a. it robs people of the grace of God allocated from it and the comfort that swells from it for believers5, b. it makes him forfeit eternal salvation6,

John 8:47. John 8:44. 3 John 8:48. 4 John 8:51-53. 5 John 8:56. 6 John 8:51.
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c. it collapses, because it is a battle against the eternal God7, in the sentence of the first insurrectionist against God, into the fire, that is prepared for the devil and his angels, into eternal damnation. Chr. K. B. "By Adam's fall man's frame entire/And nature was infected"8, so we bear witness on the basis of Holy Scripture.9 "This is a hard saying", many say. They mean that man is by nature not so very wicked and corrupt, does not stand in such great enmity against God. Only what God tells us in His Word remains true. He shows this to us in so many examples, as well as to the Jews who are presented to us in today's Gospel. They are a frightful example of the deep enmity of man against God, and the great wickedness and depravity of the human heart. On the great wickedness of the human heart; let me 1. demonstrate it from our text, a. in the Jews we see as in a mirror, the great wickedness of the human heart, for they . did not believe the Lord Christ, although He told them the truth10, . blasphemed Jesus, the dear Savior11, . for they disdained the salvation that He so kindly offered to them12, . they sought in grim hatred to kill Christ13; b. what we see here in the Jews, by nature infects in all human hearts. Scripture bears witness to us not only that all men lie in the same deep corruption14 and that the root of everything, even the most horrible sins, lies in every heart15, but we actually perceive the same wickedness in people, for . because the world will the Word of God by no means believe, once it is truth and also proves to be on their conscience as truth; and the flesh also often fights in Christians against God's Word and makes them contribute to faith, . the world blasphemes God and the Bible, His Word, and Christ, His Son; and even Christians are sometimes challenged by blasphemous thoughts about God's righteousness, goodness, grace, etc., and by doubts about the truth of God's Word, . the world despises God's grace, heaven, and salvation offered in His Word;
John 8:49-50, 54-55, 58. KELG 236:1. 9 Genesis 8:21; Romans 8:7. 10 John 8:46. 11 John 8:48. 12 John 8:51-53. 13 John 8:59. 14 Job 14:4; Psalm 14:3; Romans 3:23. 15 Matthew 15:19; John 3:6.
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and Christians are, for the sake of the adhering flesh, often so sluggish in using the saving Word, do not rejoice as they should about heavenly things, allow themselves to be led to other things, wherein to seek their joy, . the world, whether the person of Christ is deprived of them, still pursues His kingdom, His Word, and His believers; in particular servants of the Word, and wants to shove Christ from His Father's throne; and even Christians often feel themselves tempted to bear a grudge against the one who chastises them, and against the Word that thereby reproaches them. O great wickedness of the human heart! 2. show to what end this should serve us, a. to hearty repentance, b. to utter despair in ourselves, c. to willing reception of salvation offered by Christ to us in the Gospel, d. to earnest struggle against inborn corruption. Chr. K.