The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:16-17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You have been made a new creation in Christ Jesus. You’ve been clothed with Him. You’ve been given the Spirit as a guarantee of eternal life. You are now God’s temple: He dwells in you and through you. We don’t owe anything. Such great salvation worked through Christ’s death and resurrection and delivered to you in water, Word, Body and Blood—that salvation is given free of charge, no debt left over.
We’ve been set free from sin and death. Our Old Adam—our flesh, as Paul puts it—has been put to death, drowned in the waters of Holy Baptism, and a new man daily emerges and arises to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. We have not been set free from sin to live in sin. We’re given Christ’s holiness, and were called to live in it. We’re not supposed to think, “I can steal this game because I’ll just be forgiven.” It’s sin to think, “Jesus died for me so it doesn’t matter if I talk about my neighbor behind her back.” Our salvation in Christ, His complete and free forgiveness, isn’t license to go about living willy nilly. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die” (Romans 8:13).
Our Old Adam keeps coming back like a bad penny. He’s the Gollum who follows us all the days of our journey. He seeks to kill us. To pull us back into the darkness, to steal back our life. To lead us back into the slavery of the devil, to sin.
We struggle against him. Well, not us, but it’s the Spirit who fights against Him, who leads us. We are God’s children. We have the Spirit, given to us in Baptism, who dwells within us. He’s the Spirit of adoption. We are now sons of the Father, being placed into Christ Jesus. He works in us and through us. He comes to us in His Word. He’s given to us in the life-giving Body and Blood of Jesus. He is the Spirit who gives life. He leads you in Christ Jesus, and because of this we can be certain we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” This is the Spirit’s work in us to save us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Water, blood, and Spirit crying, By their witness testifying To the One whose death-defying Life has come with life for all. (Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying, LSB 597:1)