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Daily Reflections – Higher Things

Tuesday of the 13th Week after Trinity

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Today’s Reading: Galatians 3:15-22
Daily Lectionary: 2 Chronicles 36:1-23; Colossians 4:1-18

And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. (Galatians 3:17)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. So, you’re a Christian because Jesus died for you and saved you. But how do you stay a Christian? There are many preachers out there who would tell you that it is Jesus who saves you, but then you have to start living a good life to be and remain a Christian. It’s like they start with Jesus but end up with you and what you have to do.

St. Paul says that we are saved because of a promise—a promise made to Abraham that his offspring (Jesus, way down the road) would be the Savior. That promise was made long before the Ten Commandments were given. But some people figured that once the Ten Commandments were given, that was how you got right with God. Paul tells the Galatians that it’s not that way at all! God didn’t start with a promise and end up by telling you to do something you couldn’t do.

So, why did He give the Ten Commandments? To put you under judgment. To show you your sin and your need for a Savior. The Commandments teach us that in and of ourselves we are doomed. But Christ kept the Commandments. He kept them perfectly and then paid the price for our breaking them. He lived our life and died our death. On the cross He suffered our punishment and took away all our sins.

Now, as you struggle against sin, as you do the hard work of learning to love God and your neighbor, don’t be fooled that such effort is how you stay a Christian. In fact, when you fail at those things, you especially need to know that what saves you, what forgives you, what makes you right with God and makes you a Christian, is what the Lord has done for you and promised you. That’s the promise of your Baptism which says you are His child. It’s the promise of Absolution in which He declares you not guilty. It’s His promise in His Supper to live in you and raise you up in the Last Day.

You are saved by Christ. You are kept in the faith by Christ. His Word. His gifts. All Jesus for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

It is the pow’r of God to save From sin and Satan and the grave; It works the faith which firmly clings To all the treasures which it brings. (The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace, LSB 580:4)