Summary: A sermon written for confirmation in 1927.
Psalm 116:4. Confirmation. April 10, 1927. Vol. 1. Pg. 41
My dear friends, You are about to confirm with your own life that covenant which you made with the Lord in your baptism. Christian parents and sponsors did for you then what you were not able to do of yourself. They brought you to Jesus in baptism. They believed in Him as their Savior and wished therefore to bring you to Him and His gracious care, as Christian parents should who love their Lord. They gave you the Shepherd of souls, as Jesus invites parents to do, saying, Suffer little children to come unto me. They sought further out of Christian love for you to further you in the knowledge of Christ by the instruction in His Word that you have thus fare received and having now learned this word and yourself being convinced of it’s truth, you are asked to confirm with your own mouth the promise made in baptism, that you may be admitted to this fellowship in communion, as the Psalm says, “I will pay my vows with the Lord now in the presence of all his people.”
We should not be hasty in making vows, but consider first the meaning of the vow e make. Look therefore well at the vow that you are to make, that you make it with the more confidence and cheerfulness, for it is nothing sinful that ye are to vow, nothing that ye need feel sorrow for.
You are to vow first that you renounce the devil etc. Surely that is nothing to be ashamed of or feel sorrows for. You have learned that the devil is a liar and the father of it, a murderer from beginning, that he walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Surely you do not want the father of liars for your father, nor a murderer of souls for your guide and shepherd through . . You renounce him, in other words you say, “I do not want the devil as my master. I do not want to serve him and slave for him all my life, nor be a partaker of his sins and deeds and sufferings.
In the second place you vow to believe in God the Father Creator etc. This is not my teachings, nor any other man’s, but God’s own word and revelation to us, as you have yourself learned from your study of the Bible. This knowledge and faith is a great treasure in your life to know that your Father in Christ rules with an almighty hand and power over earth, sun, moon and stars and things on the earth, under the earth, and above the earth and thus guides all our destinies.
You vow also to believe in Jesus Christ who has purchased and won you from all sins, death, and the power of the devil. He is your Lord and shall be your guide and shepherd and master through this life unto the life to come.
You vow also to believe in the Holy Spirit Ghost etc. We have compared each and every point of this confession with Scriptures and have found that there is not a word in this confession not taught in Scripture, the Word of God. You know therefore what you are vowing. You know the truth of that vow.
Finally you vow that it is your intention by the grace of God to remain steadfast in the confession of this faith unto the end. If there were no such intention within your heart, then you are not a Christian, nor does the spirit of God dwell within you. For as Jesus says, “the spirit is willing” and St. Paul says, I find in me a will tto do that which is good. Therefore we can only call that a degenerate soul, a soul without life, a soul completely dominated by flesh and the devil, if there be no will nor desire to serve the God who has called you out of darkness to His marvelous light. Still with all our good intentions we can do nothing and would still be lost, if it were not that the Lord gives and upholds and brings to fulfilment these good intentions, as Jesus says, “without me you can do nothing.” Therefore in making your vow to-day you are not asked to trust in your own strength to keep this vow, but in the grace of God. When Peter vowed that he would not deny the Lord and if he were to die with him, Peter was trusting in his own strength. He should rather have said, as you should say today, “by the grace of God.” His subsequent fall shows the weakness of all human strength and resolutions to stand in the hour of temptation. Ask you Lord therefore, who hears your prayer, to stand by you in every hour of trial and strengthen your weak knees.