Are there any more wonderful words in this life than, “for you?”
Martin Luther writes in his Small Catechism, “That person is truly worthy and well prepared (for the Lord’s Supper) who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
The words “for you” are what deliver burdened hearts into the glorious light of freedom, for they deliver the precious, life-giving cargo of God’s relentless grace to each of us. When God’s word is applied to you and for you individually, there can be no doubt that your sins are forgiven and heaven itself is both opened and delivered to you.
As a pastor, the most thrilling and yet humbling experiences revolve around working as the hands and voice of Christ. When one is brought to the font, the “for you” is at work as the Word joins with water in the washing of regeneration and adoption of one who was just recently dead to God now lives in Him. To speak the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” and to apply the water of Baptism to one is the singular most amazing “for you” moment there could ever be. When we doubt our faith, it’s to our Baptism we can return to remember again and again that God’s promises are not just applied to our neighbor, but to each of us.
At the Lord’s Table, once again, the “for you” of God’s grace is delivered. Here, the bread/body of Christ and the wine/blood of Christ is given individually “for you” as you eat and drink of this life-sustaining, never-ending feast of the Lamb. When the elements hit your tongue along with the Word, the “for you” transformative moment is upon you once again: your sins are forgiven, and you are given His righteousness.
In the words of forgiveness, which are read in Scripture and proclaimed out loud, God is at work yet again in a “for you” moment. Do not fear and do not doubt; those absolving words are not just for those sitting or standing around you, but this forgiveness of God won for you from the cross of Christ are exactly that, “for you!!”
God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness are certainly for you as Christ has and continues to wipe every blemish from your record and His love and forgiveness has no bounds. Christ has wiped your sins away and cast them into the deepest sea, and there, He has posted a no-fishing sign and a heavenly guard to keep those who would accuse you from this abyss.
For more good news, listen and subscribe to Pastor Craig Donofrio and Pastor Troy Neujahr’s new 1517 Podcast, “For You Radio,” now available wherever you listen to podcasts.