Today's Reading: Galatians 5:16-24
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “In this corner, weighing in at a measly weight, always trying to cheat and cause trouble, doing his own thing and caring only for himself, the OLD ADAM!” “And in this corner, weighing in with His majestic Godhead and divine power, given at the creation of Man, filling the prophets of old and poured out on the church on Pentecost, the HOLY SPIRIT!” Who do you think will win this cage match?
St. Paul tells us that two enemies are battling it out in us. Our Old Adam, that is, our sinful flesh; and the Holy Spirit given to us the day we were washed with water and the word in Holy Baptism. Do you ever have a desire to only do something for yourself—to complain and rebel and have your own way? That's the Old Adam at work. His job is to ruin you and drag you down to hell.
But when you go to church, you hear about Jesus, crucified for your sins and risen from the dead. You are reminded of the water and word that washed you in Baptism. You are absolved of your sins. You are filled with Christ's body and blood. That is the Spirit at work, whose job is to give you Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus; to deliver to you the forgiveness of sins and by these gifts to put that nasty Old Adam to death every day. That way, you have the promise of the Spirit that you will be raised to eternal life, for all the works of your flesh have been blotted out by the forgiveness the Spirit brings to you. And you are, in Jesus, the fruitful tree of the Spirit, bearing good works because it is the Spirit who works them in you by Jesus' holy gifts. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
God came to us then at Pentecost, His Spirit new life revealing, That we might no more from Him be lost, All darkness for us dispelling. His flame will the mark of sin efface And bring to us all His healing. (LSB 503:4)