A message from Pastor Berndt
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Galatians 5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Spirit and your sinful flesh are at war. A battle goes on each day of your life between your flesh and Spirit. You know you are to honor your parent. But there are times were you talk back or slam the door in rebellion. You are to speak well of everyone. But there are days where the gossip is so juicy you can’t wait to tell the dirt on your neighbor. I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7)
When you know the good you are to do and do not do it, what is quick to follow is guilt and shame crashing down on you. This is the Spirit at work on you, the sinner, moving you to the Word--brought by the Spirit to repentance.
In Jeremiah's day many in Israel refused to repent. They were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. (Jeremiah 8)
By the Spirit's power you are brought to repentance. The Spirit brings you under the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rescued from all the curses of your law breaking. Jesus took all the curses for you as the wrath of God was poured out on Him and not you. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (Galatians 3)
The Lord saves you from your sins. Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7) The Holy Spirit brings you Jesus. Fighting against your sinful flesh, Jesus is the Victorious One.
In Holy Baptism Jesus is putting your sinful nature to death. Putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God. (Colossians 2) By the Holy Absolution Jesus forgives your sins and the Devil can no longer accuse you of your sins--they have been forgiven by Christ. By the Word of God rightly preached into your ears--the Spirit is at work through Law and Gospel for repentance, faith and new life in Christ. Good works flow from living in Christ Jesus. If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8)
The Holy Spirit working through the Word and Sacraments bringing you Jesus, life and salvation. In Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord LSB 497:2
Come, holy Light, guide divine, Now cause the Word of life to shine.
Teach us to know our God aright And call Him Father with delight.
From ev’ry error keep us free; Let none but Christ our master be
That we in living faith abide, In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.