Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 27

1 Peter 4:1-3 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
Yesterday we learned that God put our old, sinful nature to death when He baptized us. Baptism is a one-time event where we are crucified with Christ and raised to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). And, as Peter said, it really does save us (I Peter 4:20). But, what does this actually mean in everyday life? Does this mean I’ll never sin again? Does this mean all of my temptations will go away?

The answer, of course, is “no!” In fact, temptation and sin will be a part of our lives until we die. So, though baptism is a one-time event, it is one we must return to daily in our war with our sinful nature, the world’s temptations, and the attacks of the devil. As the Small Catechism says, “[Baptism] indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily arise to live before God in righteousness and purity.”

Though we will still sin, be tempted, and suffer attacks, we do so now from a different position. Before we were baptized into Christ, these things stood over us. But now we are in Christ, and thus, these things are beneath us. They can attack us, but they cannot overcome us! The time for indulging worldly passions is past. Christ, your Savior, is now beside you so that you stand over and against your foes. And when it seems they have the upper hand, return to your baptism and cling to the promises of Jesus for you!

Father, I confess that I continue to struggle with the same old sins even though I believe they are conquered by your Son. Teach me to die daily to my sinful nature and daily raise me up to do your will. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob


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