December 27, 2014


1 John 5:1-12

Listen to a discussion about Athanasius, and you are likely to hear the saint described as having been contra mundum: against the world. Listen long enough, and those Latin words will become cinched together with his name: Athanasius contra mundum. He received that virtual nickname because, in articulating the doctrine of the Trinity over-against heresy, he disobeyed successive Roman emperors and, on five occasions, had to flee for his life.

Athanasius’ disobedience to the powers of the world proved at long last to have been obedience to God, an obedience without which the Christian faith may have been lost. Often he seemed to stand entirely alone, but his faith—and his teaching of the faith—prevailed. He stood; the world changed.

The Church learned from Athanasius that false teaching tends to court the favor of the world. Orthodoxy tends to be persecuted by the world. We see this in our day. Heresy blends with the world while the truth of the gospel is driven to the margins.

When the Church must stand contra mundum, we know “this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.” (1John 5:4)

Prayer: Holy Father, help me stand with Christ no matter what. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.

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