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God’s Word for You

Luke 19:24-26 Take the mina from him

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, January 21, 2019

24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25 ‘Lord,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

The story of the parable makes good sense: A servant who can manage a large amount of money can manage a little more. But the application really goes in the other direction. Everyone will face God on Judgment Day. Everyone who does so with no faith in Christ (nothing at all to show for the work of the Gospel in their life) will have that gospel removed forever. We will talk more about what that means with verse 27.

The gospel always works. “It will not return to me empty,” the Lord proclaims, “but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). The purpose of the word of God is to save, but for those who reject the gospel, there is the law which condemns. The word of God contains both law and gospel, and it will always either save or condemn. Only faith saves; only unbelief condemns (Mark 16:16). God decreed on Mount Sinai: “They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees” (Leviticus 26:43). To reject Christ is to reject everything Christ did—his perfect life lived in our place; his atoning death that removed the guilt of our sins. To turn from this is to discard the perfect life demanded by God and to retain all of one’s sins and all of one’s guilt forever. But Jesus is not diminished by a sinner who rejects him. “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22-23).

How is it that the word of God is able to work in our hearts? This is the work of the Holy Spirit, who works together with the word of God. In fact, Scripture works nothing different than the Holy Spirit does. There is one rebirth; one conversion. It comes through the gospel of the forgiveness of sins either in the word or the sacraments. God comforts us in this truth: The Holy Spirit works through Scripture; not beforehand or following along after, and Scripture works because of the Holy Spirit; not following along after and not beforehand. In this way the union of Spirit and Scripture reminds me of my friend Steve who lives next door. When there is a blizzard, Steve knows that I do not have a snow blower, and so he comes with his snow blower and cleans my sidewalk and sometimes my driveway, too. When my family says, “Daddy, Steve is outside!” I know that they don’t mean the man without the snow blower, nor do they mean the snow blower without the man. He comes with his instrument and works with it. And this is what the Holy Spirit does; he always works with his instrument, and his instrument is never there without the Holy Spirit. This is why the Apostles prayed: “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David” (Acts 4:25). The Holy Spirit inspired David and the other men who wrote the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21), and he continues to work through that same inspired word today.

This is the Holy Spirit who lives in you (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16), Your faith is evidence for you, but so are the Holy Scriptures. Trust in the word of God, and trust in the Spirit of God, because they are what establishes your trust in Jesus Christ in whom we have eternal life.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.



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