1. The resurrection of Christ is not God’s way of loving the last enemy (15:26). He despises it; defeats it. He makes such a mockery of it that it loses its name among Christians. Death is dead and can no longer be called death, but merely sleep, just a sweet and momentary sleep until the living Christ’s parousia (v. 23).
  2. The basis of Christian proclamation is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a historical event. But what His death and resurrection are as events, now become reality for us, delivered to us through preaching and holy baptism, so all who receive His death and life have the hope of resurrection.
  3. The texts for this week offer great consolation for pastors and preachers. Don’t miss out on preaching this consolation to your people, too. Christ is at work in us, though we are insufficient for such a ministry to save souls from destruction.
  4. Christians are caught up in the love of God in Christ. In this love they grow together as the body of Christ into mature manhood. And in the struggle and despite all the sin that clouds our eyes, we will see clearly Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. The more we fix our eyes on Him, the more we grow in His love.
  5. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 is part of Paul’s continuing catechesis on the church. The church as God the Holy Spirit’s own creation through the Gospel is not to be preached or taught as any kind of human organization.
  6. This text teaches us about concepts found in the Third Article of the Creed; concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, and the communion of the saints (or of holy things). I would suggest, along with your study of the text, a devotional study of the Large Catechism on the Third Article this week.
  7. Having Romans 6 as the Epistle for the Baptism of our Lord, and paired with Luke’s account of Jesus’ baptism and Isaiah’s prophetically rich baptismal language in Isaiah 43, allows preaches to proclaim Romans 6 in a more appropriate liturgical context. It could only be better, were someone in your congregation to be baptized on this day. If that’s your situation, the sermon will almost write itself.
  8. St. Paul’s argument in Ephesians 1 shows that our salvation is necessary, not because God is bound by His own law, but because God willed it. Once God decides to be merciful, He will not do otherwise. Promise? Promise.