When Solomon says that man’s labor under the sun is meaningless, he is not speaking about the work of our vocation, which God has given man to do. Solomon is speaking about man’s toil and striving apart from God (or even against God’s will). Everything which God has made is good. It is the misuse of God’s gifts in accordance with our sinful desires that is meaningless. Not only will we fail to accomplish what God has not willed, but we will afflict ourselves with trouble. In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus teaches His disciples to seek first Christ’s kingdom. With salvation secured through the merit of Christ, we know that God is working out everything for our good. This gift of God makes us content and at peace, without care and anxiety for the future, which is in God’s hands. Solomon teaches us to remain and find enjoyment in the Word and work of God.
For the month of May, we are going to give a cursory look at the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes teaches us about the vanity of man’s heart which is not content with his present vocation but always desires future honor and wealth and fame. “What does the worker gain from his toil?” Whatever man seeks apart from God is a vain striving and accomplishes nothing. It is the gift of God for man to enjoy his work. The Christian is content to live the good life of thanksgiving for forgiveness before God and the world.
Knowing that the Law can only produce “works of the law”(Rom 3:28) while the Gospel creates faith, which brings forth “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal 5:2) 1 Timothy 1:5), we might wrongly decide that the Law is not to be preached to believers. In this study, we examine the Scriptural teaching concerning the third use of the Law as it is found in the Formula of Concord, VI and Romans, chapters 3-8. This concludes the Bible Study on the Baptismal Life.
Handout: Baptism Apr 24 2016 Lesson 14