Holy Living + Romans 6:19-23
The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. We are created in the image of God, perfect and holy.
Having been created, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost takes care of us. He richly and daily provides us with all that we need to support this body and life. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in us. For all this it is our duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.
This is the baptismal life, where we live a new life, one in the image of God, the way He created us; living the way we are supposed to live. This is not up for discussion. This is how we are to live before God and neighbor. We are to live in love toward God and love toward neighbor. We are to love God above all things. We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, as God has first loved us.
It is our duty to thank God for all the earthly gifts He gives to us. It is our duty to worship God, call upon His name, keeping His Holy Word sacred, gladly hearing it and learning it. We are to serve God and obey Him. He is our Lord. He is our God. We are to fear love and trust only in Him. This means that we are to realize and obey the way God has created us.
This is the fight that we fight, both outwardly, against the world and the devil, who do not want us to worship God, calling upon His name in every trouble. This is the race that we run, struggling internally, struggling against our sinful flesh, which does not want God to be God but wants to be its own god.
Look around, what do we hear in the news? What do we see in our communities, in our country?
The fight over gender, there are men and boys and there are women and girls, there are no other genders. Your gender is established by God and it is a gift from God, it is not something you get to choose, it is not something you allow your children to choose. To teach or live or believe otherwise is contrary to creation and the will of God. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community is doing everything they can to destroy what God established at creation.
Marriage is between one man and one woman. Sexual relations within marriage are a gift to be celebrated and encouraged.
Marriage is for the purpose of procreation, the producing of children, that they would be taught the faith, walking in the way the Lord has prepared for them to go.
This is also why we must not abortion our children. Children are not burdens, they are not accidents or mistakes. Children are a gift from God, for the purpose of baptizing and bringing them up in the kingdom of God. This is why we promote adoption and care for orphans.
Homosexuality is a sin which must be avoided and turned away from, because God’s desire is for husband and wife to be fruitful and multiply, homosexual realtions do not allow for this to take place. Sexual relations outside of marriage is a sin, which must be avoided and turned away from, because these acts have no desire to produce children. We must stand up to the pornography industry which encourages otherwise. We must fight against Planned Parenthood and those who say otherwise. We must not indulge the flesh. We must not give in to passion and lust. We must not become slaves to unrighteousness and uncleanness. We must devote ourselves to righteousness and holy living. This is the baptismal life. This is the command of God.
As sinners in need of repentance and forgiveness, Jesus Christ, our Lord, has redeemed us, lost and condemned persons, purchased and won us from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death on the cross.
He has done all of this, that we may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, serving Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. We live under God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in His kingdom.
Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Son of God, has created us and made us right before His Father in heaven. The life that we live today, should reflect that. We should witness this in our families and our neighbors. We should see our sin, the plank in our eye, and remove it through repentance. We should show our neighbor his sin and help him remove it through repentance. Then, as we have been forgiven by God, so we should forgive our neighbor and allow him to forgive us. This is the baptismal life. This is the command of God.
The Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Trinity, has called us and all those who are members of One Holy Christian and Apostolic Church by the Gospel. He has enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and kept us in the one true faith. In this Christian Church, He daily and richly forgives all our sins and the sins of all believers.
Since we have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, and have received the gift of faith, and the forgiveness of sins, we live a new life, the baptismal life. In baptism, daily we die with our sin and daily we arise with Christ to new life. Daily, we are recreated in God’s image. We seek after righteousness and holy living. What God desires is what we desire. God’s will is our will. We live before God and neighbor in righteousness and purity, doing good works.
Through repentance, we put to death all sin and evil. We kill the old Adam, that the new man might live. We return to the Lord, our God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. This is the baptismal life. This is the command of God.
As St. Paul says, “Once we presented our bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now, because of our baptism and the gift of faith, we present our bodies as slaves to righteousness leading to holy living…Now that we have been set free from sin and are slaves of God, the fruit produced in us is a holy life and ultimately, eternal life in heaven.”
As we fight the fight of faith, as we run the race that has been set before us, as we live before God in righteousness and purity all the days of our life, our Lord Jesus Christ takes compassion and feeds us with Himself, with His body and blood in His Holy Supper. In our eating and drinking, we are one with Jesus who sent the devil away after being tempted by him three times in the wilderness. In our eating and drinking, we are one with Jesus who on the cross said, “It is finished.” With these words, the devil, the world, and all sin had been defeated. Sin and evil have no power over us. Jesus is victorious. We are victorious. And with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, because He lives so too will we live.
This is how it was with Jesus and the feeding of the 4,000. Jesus had compassion on the crowd, because they had been without food for three days. And if He had sent them home hungry, they would faint on the way.
When we come to the Lord’s Supper, Jesus feeds us, He nourishes us, He encourages us, He is with us. He does not want us to grow weary and go astray. And as He sends us away in His peace, out into the world, we are strengthened to live before Him, to live with Him, with holy lives toward our neighbor, the way He commands and desires. Apart from Jesus and His Holy Word and Blessed Sacraments, we would not and could not live holy lives before God and neighbor. But with Jesus and in Jesus we do give God alone all thanks, praise, service and obedience. We live in His kingdom, serving Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. Amen.