#5 True Faith Desires to Save Others, Even Under Persecution

However, this thirst not only is not slaked by its speaking, it is also made worse with gall and vinegar, as was the thirst which Christ experienced on the cross [John 19:29]. St. Paul felt such a thirst, Acts 26 [:29], when he wished that everyone were as he himself—except for his chains. [In] Romans 11 [9:3] he wished to be cut off from Christ for the sake of his brethren, the Jews.

See here, you too have been given such a thirst for the salvation of your brethren, which is a reliable sign of a genuine faith.  It is only the gall and the vinegar that still awaits you, that is, the vilification, the shame, and the persecution for the sake of your thirsty speech. Wherever Christ is, Judas, Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, and Annas will inevitably be also, so also his cross. If not, he is not the true Christ.  (Luther’s Works, v.43, p.62-63)

Picture:  Each of the seven rays are designated with a few words and a Scripture verse:
To comfort – Romans 15:12, “Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
To satisfy – Romans 14:7, “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.”
To sanctify – Romans 1:4, “…and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
To strengthen – Ephesians 3:16, “…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,”
To enlighten – 1 Corinthians 12, “v.1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:…”
To receive eternal life – Romans 5:16, “And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.”
To ignite – Romans 12:11, “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”

[All of the pictures for this year’s posts are from an etching entitled “Augsburg Confession” by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) and found in the Royal Collection Trust.]

Posted in 2021 Persecution.

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