God is with us in Word and Sacrament

The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Ephesians 4:22–28

+ IN NOMINE IESU +

We’re called put off our old natures. The old nature is the old Adam. And put on the new nature by the renewing of our minds.

The old Adam, your old nature has been put off in the putting on of the new. The new man, the new nature is the sanctified, redeemed child of God. Your new life, body and soul, is a life forgiven and restored. This is given in Baptism, when the death dies, and the Holy Spirit kicks the Devil out. And thus we remember, return to, and live in our baptism daily. ‘When you get up; make the sign of the Holy Cross and say “In the name of . . .” The sign and seal of Him who delivered you from death unto life. You are now clothed in Christ. The new man goes on as a Baptismal garment, a new creation after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

For from the Cross Christ has given you the new man because on the cross he has taken upon himself the old Adam. He bears the burden of sin, sickness and death on behalf of the world. He suffers and dies. And in that death, Jesus kills the old Adam with all of his lusts and desires. In this death, the sins of Adam, Eve and all descendants are destroyed forever. Christ has died, killed death, for the life of the world. The garment of salvation is knitted for you on the loom of the Cross.

Yet, old habits die hard. The old Adam is a good swimmer and he often rears his ugly head from out of the depths of those baptismal waters. Satan wants to hang on to you and remind you of your sins. And we often take pleasure in this. We hold onto certain sins because of the old nature. But, when Jesus calls us to follow Him, He bids us to come and die. Die to sin and rise again to newness of life. Thus in the morning and when you go to bed make the sign of the Holy Cross and say: “In the name of . . .” A return to baptism and reminder of the sign and seal of the promise delivered.

Jesus is more powerful than Satan, and certainly more powerful that your human will. The struggle between the new man and the old man is a daily battle. It isn’t just about Sunday to Sunday. But while you sit here, while you drive home, and while you deal with the world the struggle is there. At times it is worse than others. It’s the tension of living as a new creature in a fallen world. We are redeemed and forgiven. We know better. We have Christ in all His fullness and grace. We live in freedom and hope. But the flesh is still weak and vulnerable. We get sick and hurt and cry and get mad and at times lash out in revenge. That’s the body’s corruption. It is a battle for you minds, your souls, and your bodies.

But, through Baptism, we carry in our bodies the death of Christ. Christ crucified is our hope and yes, our very life. Christ crucified keeps the old man dead and the new man alive. For the new man has resurrected from the grave with Christ. He has come up out of the drowning waters of Baptism. You are in Christ, you are a new man, a new creation, as one who bears the sign of the Holy Cross, sealed with his name, and thus, delivered from death, sin, and the devil.

You remain a new man by grace. No one plucks you out of the Lord’s hand. Christ lives and dwells in you through the gift of the Holy Spirit. You are created in the likeness of God. Made bone of Christ’s Bone and flesh of His Flesh. For He is the new Adam and you, the Church, are his body. Old habits die hard, but you are signed, sealed, and delivered: Signed with the Holy Cross, sealed with and in the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and delivered from sin, death, and Satan.  Amen.

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