We were therefore buried with Him [Christ] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
The USS constitution, the historic frigate called Old Ironsides, is berthed in the Boston harbor. Once a year a ceremony is made of turning it around so it will wear evenly on both sides.
Human beings, too, need turning around. To stay in one position all the time is like being in a rut, and a rut, as someone has said, “is a grave with the ends kicked out.” We travel, read good books, and make new friends to attain and maintain a well-balanced mind and personality. We could say it is good for our constitution when we weather evenly.
The Bible speaks of a much more important about face. It is called conversion. Different from outward reform of undesirable habits, it is a thorough-going change of heart, a remaking of the person from an enemy to a friend of God. Such a turnaround is the doing of the Holy Spirit, who through the Gospel – including the Gospel made visible in the water of Holy Baptism – gives people a new heart. As converts they rely altogether on the atoning merit and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their salvation.
“Also, after conversion, we need to turn daily from sin to a life pleasing to God. The prophet Jeremiah prays according to the King James Version of the Bible: “Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the LORD my God” (Jeremiah 31:18).
A striking example of a complete turnaround is Saul the Pharisee, who became Saint Paul the Apostle. That event took place when he was converted to the Christian faith near Damascus. He urges a daily turning to God. He tells us to do this every day as we rise with Christ from the grave of sin and death to the newness of the life in Him.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, daily renew my faith in Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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