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The Rev. William Klock: Two more sermons on Genesis

October 4, 2012

From the Rev. William Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here are two more sermons in his series on Genesis.

Fr. Bill makes a powerful point in the second of these sermons:

Brothers and sisters, all these events and stories of God’s blessing and humanity’s sinning point us to Jesus Christ.  In him God sent his own Son to be a perfect and once-for-all sacrifice for sin.  The blood of Jesus did what the blood of millions of bulls and goat could never do.  It truly washes God’s people clean.  We receive the benefit of his blood through our own flood experience.  As Noah was saved by sailing through the great flood in the ark and as the Israelites were saved as God led them through the waters of the Red Sea, you and I are saved as we step out in faith through the waters of baptism.  But the waters of our baptism are so much more powerful than the baptismal waters of Noah or Moses.  The baptismal water through which Jesus calls us washes away our sin and pours into us the Holy Spirit.  Noah came through the waters of the flood, but he was still the same old Noah.  And when the Israelites came through the Red Sea, they may have been made God’s own people, but they were still the same old Israelites.  But when you and I pass through the waters of baptism, Jesus makes us new.  He does what no Old Testament sacrifice could ever do: he not only forgives our sins, he takes our sin away; he makes new men and women of us.  Old habits and patterns die hard; sometimes we’re tempted to take up our old man or our old woman again.  This is why St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians, saying, “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and…put on  the new self,  created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).  Adam and Noah and Abraham and Moses could only look forward to our day in anticipation as they struggled with sin.  Dear friends, that new self is our reality in Christ Jesus.  Let us live the reality of new life we have been given by baptism.  And when we look up into the sky and see the rainbow—and living where we do, God certainly gives us a lot of them—let us remember that he has hung up his bow and made peace with us through Jesus Christ.  Every time the rain falls, let it be an opportunity to praise God for his grace and mercy and let it be an opportunity to renew our faith in the blood of Jesus, sacrificed for us at the Cross.  Let every rainbow be a reminder to live the new life he offers, putting off our old bodies of sin, putting on the new, and being renewed by his Holy Spirit.

This is something we should remember to ask every day: that we be renewed by the Holy Spirit, that we might live that new life we have been given in Christ Jesus.

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