Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The classic The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. There’s also one of my favorites, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.
Of course, the Back to the Future movie trilogy has to be one of the most popular time travel stories of all time.
Alas, time travel is not possible. At least not yet.
Or is it?
Actually, the Christian Church has the closest thing to time travel that I’ve seen so far.
It is the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
Yes, you read that right. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is spiritual time travel!
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
When I was baptized, I traveled back in time – spiritually – to Jesus’ cross. I was crucified along with Jesus. I was buried along with Jesus. I was resurrected along with Jesus.
Everyone who is baptized by water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit experiences this spiritual time travel.
We are crucified with Christ. Jesus Christ took all our sins (and all the sins of all people) on himself and paid the penalty for them on the cross.
Our sinful nature was then buried with Christ in the tomb.
But when Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised with a new nature. Instead of sin, through Baptism we have the righteousness of Christ!
Our sinful human nature rears its ugly head from the grave every day. We are tempted to sin by the devil, the world, and our sinful human nature.
By the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace we can overcome these tempters!
But if we don’t overcome them, if we choose to live accord to the sinful human nature, according to what Lutherans have believed, taught, and confessed for nearly 500 years, “Those who walk according to the flesh retain neither faith nor righteousness” (Apology of the Augsburg Confession Article V Love and Fulfilling the Law, quoted from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright © 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House, p 135).
When we were baptized, we traveled back in time to Christ’s death and resurrection in the First Century AD.
But every day we must, by contrition and repentance, drown that old sinful human nature and walk by faith!
Again, as Lutherans have believed, taught, and confessed for nearly 500 years: “Faith must be the mother and source of works that are truly good and well pleasing to God, which God will reward in this world and in the world to come” (Formula of Concord – Solid Declaration Article IV, quoted from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright © 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House, p 548).
We can do this! By the power of the Holy Spirit! We can walk in the righteousness of God! We do not have to give in to our flesh’s passion and desires.
I realize that this is the exact opposite of what the culture has been telling us for generations now.
But really, who do you want to listen to? The culture that is going more insane by the minute? Or God who clearly loves you and wants what’s best for you?
Crucify your sinful human flesh – not literally, but spiritually – by using the Means of Grace.
It is possible and it is the best way to live!
I implore you, O Lord, in your kindness to show me your great mercy that I may be set free from my sins and rescued from the punishments that I rightly deserve; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
©2017 True Men Ministries