First Sunday in Lent (1889

Matthew 4:1-11 We are told in our Gospel today how Christ had let Himself be seduced by the devil and had struggled with him. He did this as our Savior and Savior of all people. He would thus make satisfaction for the fall of man in paradise, there he gave ear to the whisperings of the devil and also recompense what we still lack, that we do not always struggle so faithfully and chivalrously as we should in temptations with which the devil attacks us. At the same time the Lord has given us an example through His struggle against those temptations of the devil an example of how we should struggle with Satan and overcome him when we are tempted by him. How we should learn from Christ's example to overcome the temptations of the devil; namely the temptations 1. to suspicion against God and to sinful self-help; a. As the devil wanted to irritate Christ, as He was hungry, to doubt the voice heard at the Jordan and to turn stones into bread, desponding in God's Fatherly love, the devil thus uses various distresses in which he finds Christians, for this purpose, to make their trust in God waver and to irritate them, displeasure toward God, to create forbidden paths to self-help through following lodges, life insurance, through sympathy and the like; b. as the Lord Christ struck back such temptation of the devil with the Word of God, which testifies that man is preserved not so much by bread, than by the almighty power of God, so we should strengthen our faith in such cases by such passages of the divine Word that assure us of God's Fatherly faithfulness and set before our eyes His power and omnipotence and, encouraged by this, confidently await the help of God in distress and forbear all sinful self-help; 2. to security and to more reprehensible presumptuousness; a. as the devil subsequently wanted to irritate Christ to boast of his divine Sonship and, trying in more reprehensible presumptuousness under a false appeal to God from Scripture, to hurl Himself from the pinnacle of the temple1, so he seeks to bring down Christians in security, that they are doing something beneficial for their sonship with God, consider themselves as perfect people, no longer frightened of sins in their heart, no longer are afraid

Matthew 4:5-6.

before a fall, are presumptuous in temptation and danger, in fellowship with children of the world etc., or go into the realm of false doctrine, falsely rely on their Christian freedom, depart from God's ways, diminish in watching and praying and in the use of the divine Word, step outside the confines of their vocation, no longer satisfied in ordinary doctrine, are lusting after new things, should seek other new doctrine etc.; b. as Christ thereby overcame this temptation, that He pointed to a clear Word of Scripture, which God forbids to try2, and thereby revealed perversion of Scripture by the devil, who indeed came to oppose Him, so should we, when the devil wants to provoke us to safety, thereby struggle against him, that we confront him with passages from the divine Word that warn us of spiritual arrogance and of all presumptuousness, remember the fall, exhort watching, praying, and humility, called to flee false doctrine, forbid all impertinence, etc.; 3. for love of the world and for falling away from God; a. finally, as the devil wanted to bedazzle Christ through the glory of this world, disparage the love of His Father and seduce Him to idolatry3, so he seeks even today to make Christians lust after things of this world and time, after lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life, to arouse love for these things and a striving after them, that they should fall away from the love of God and become idolaters who should make as their god either money, like the miser, or the belly, as the hedonist; b. as Christ told Satan to go from Him and overcame him by a Word of God that prohibits idolatry and means to serve God alone4, so we also in such temptations of the devil should have before us certain passages of the divine Word that warn of avarice, love of the world, and of all idolatry and threaten idolaters with God's eternal wrath, and that encourage us of the love of God and that hold out the prospect of eternal bliss to all children of God; thus the devil must give way to us and we shall win against him and gain the victory. Chr. K.

Matthew 4:7. Matthew 4:8-9. 4 Matthew 4:10.
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