Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after Cantate

Posted on May 4, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NKJV)
5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Too often we believe that sinning is inevitable. Yes, we have sin. The sinful flesh remains after baptism, daily tempting us with ungodly thoughts and desires. But fulfilling those desires and entertaining those thoughts isn’t inevitable, because of what God makes us through the Gospel and Holy Baptism.
St. Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” By virtue of faith we are sons of God. In Baptism we have put on Christ. God has given the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts by faith and bear His fruit in our lives. Part of that fruit is the abstaining from sin. This means that when the devil, the world, or our own flesh tempts us with sin and places the sinful thought before our mind, we remember that we are new creatures. Those sinful thoughts aren’t what we are about. As the new creation in Christ, we are about loving our neighbors and living as God has commanded. We “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14), striking down temptation at its first beginning.
We repent of the sin that dwells in our flesh and live in thanksgiving, that by faith in Christ we are righteous in God’s sight. When temptation arises, remember that you are in Christ and a new creation, so those things aren’t what you are about.
Prayer: O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Thy people that they may love what Thou commandest and desire what Thou dost promise, that among the manifold changes of this world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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