"In Baptism we now put on Christ—Our shame is fully covered. With all that He once sacrificed And freely for us suffered. For here the flood of His own blood. Now makes us holy, right, and good Before our heav'nly Father.
"So use it well! You are made new—In Christ a new creation! As faithful Christians, live and do Within your own vocation, Until that day when you possess His glorious robe of righteousness Bestowed on you forever!"
When we have a stain on our clothing, we may first attempt to scrub it out by hand, as a temporary fix. If that doesn't work, the item goes in the wash, with the hope that soap and stain removers will take care of it. If we notice the stain at the last minute, while wearing the item and with no time to scrub out the stain, we may carefully arrange a jacket or sweater to cover the offending spot. Problem solved—more or less.
There is a far more deadly stain in our lives, the stain of sin, and it is a mark with eternal consequences. On our own, there is nothing we can do to remove that stain, although we do try, by making excuses or blaming others. Only God Himself, acting in grace and mercy, can remove that stain of sin and He has done so through the death and resurrection of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The stain is swept away as "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7b). In Baptism we are clothed in Christ, dressed in His righteousness. The apostle Paul explains that God made Christ "to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21b). By faith we are created anew in Christ, and now we stand "holy, right, and good before our heav'nly Father."
This is our baptismal gift and our hymn encourages us, "So use it well!" Within our vocations, our daily callings as mother or faither, brother or sister, husband or wife, employee or employer, friend or neighbor, we live as faithful followers of Jesus. As we go about our daily work, we seek to show love and compassion to others and to work in kindness and honesty. We are clothed in Christ and when our Heavenly Father looks at us, He does not see the sins and failures we see so clearly. He sees us wrapped in the righteousness of His Son. He looks at us and sees Jesus. Each day, as we follow our Savior and reflect His love through our varied callings, we hope and pray that when others look at us, they too will see Jesus.
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, I pray that others will see Your love through my words and actions. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "All Christians Who Have Been Baptized," which is number 596 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Why is it impossible for us to become sinless before God on our own?
2. How does one become clothed in the righteousness of Christ?
3. What can we do on a day-to-day basis to shine our light before others as children of God?
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