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Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (ESV)

Life Reigns

Monday After Holy Trinity

23 May 2016

Christ the King reigns in His church through the Word. Through the Word He both abolishes sin by remitting its guilt and gives us the strength to battle against the sin and lust that remain within us. If Christ reigns in this way, then sin does not reign.
There is sin, to be sure, in the church's children. However, it does not reign within them (Rm 6:12-14). Christ reigns, not sin, although it remains within us. Thus the church's children are forever at war against the enemies of devil, world, and flesh. For although the final victory is ours through faith in Christ, the war against lust and sin must go on daily. The sin that remains, and will until we die, must be forgiven by Christ. He reigns in forgiveness through the powerful Word: "I forgive you."
The final victory will only be realized when this body of flesh gains its wage: death. Christ's reigning in life is only made complete when we die; giving up our Adam's last grasping hold on the living death which he has made our existence. Death must die for life to live. Life reigns because Christ lives.


Martin Luther

"You should know that the church is holy, but in such a way that Christ declares the right and exercises the faithful in purging out and damning sin. Sin is in the flesh and strives for dominion over the spirit. Faintheartedness would gladly rule instead of faith, sensual desire would gladly rule in the flesh of a young man when he sees a lovely girl. But Christians do not submit to it. Though they are tickled by sin, they still restrain their lust; they do not commit fornication or attempt adultery. They feel vices, indeed, but they do not permit lust to reign. But some want Christians to be without any sin whatsoever. That is a misunderstanding of the holiness of the church. For it is written here that Christ is the Judge and sits on His throne. He cleanses men from sin. He resists so that scandals may not creep in, so that our consciences may not overwhelm us, so that our faith may not be endangered by despair, so that the fruits of the spirit, patience, love, and the like, may increase. These fruits will never be perfect because in ourselves we always feel flesh and blood.
"So cleansing is necessary from day to day, that the first fruits begun in baptism may increase and thus expand to fullness. This is impossible unless we daily fight against Satan, the law, and sin. To be sure, we should like to be pure; but since that is impossible in this flesh, Christ comes and destroys sin. Then Satan returns and tempts us again, but Christ is at hand once again and brings us aid. Thus where Christ is, these offenses are not committed, though they are felt in the flesh. So adultery, theft, or brawling are not tolerated among us, but are condemned more vigorously than anywhere else. Therefore our King is with us, judging with discretion and not in anger (Jer 10:24), in such a manner that He holds in check and wipes out the remnants of sin dwelling in our flesh." 

Martin Luther, Commentary on Psalm 45, 45.6
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the church's head. Grant that she might live ever in You, that sin and death would not reign in her members, so that they might live for righteousness by taking up their cross and dying every day to sin,. Amen.
For President Lawrence Rast and the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary, that they would faithfully proclaim to sinners the life of Christ
For the school board of Memorial Lutheran School, that they would be constantly focused on the goal of the mission of Jesus Christ to give life to the world
For Mary Lewis, that the Lord would grant her a recover of her strength
For Simon Makangula, that the Lord would grant him strength and patience
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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