Words as Old as Sin

They are words as old as sin – words that are now as natural as life itself. Yet, they are words that are fought against, denied, and ignored. They are words that hang over every man, woman, child, infant, and embryo. “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19).You are Dust

We sinners are loathe to face our mortality, but face it we will. “On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.”[1] The dust from which we were taken will become simple dust once again.

Sinners’ lives are a pendulum swinging from the dreadful knowledge of this fact on the one side to a loathsome yet blissful ignorance on the other.

We face death vicariously in the lives of friends and family battling illness, brokenness, and failure. We face our own death directly because it is written on our every thought, word, and deed.

Some turn to a narcissistic fatalism, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Some fill their lives so full of “life” that they are too busy to even think about their death.

Either way, we are constantly faced with the fact that we are dust and to dust we shall return.

But there are words older than those: “I will put enmity between your offspring and her offspring, he shall crush your head and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

The word of the Gospel is older even than the word of Law. In God’s first sermon after the Fall, the Gospel comes first and dominates.

In fact, God’s salvation is older than sin. Christ is the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20). The Father has prepared a kingdom for you from before the foundation of the world (Mt. 25:34) and He elected you through His means of Word and Sacrament to inherit it (Eph. 1:4-5).

Skeleton Re-AnimatedIn death, we find that a Savior who has already beaten us to the dusty finish line of death. Christ ran the race of sinners and beat them to their own hopeless, helpless, hellish end. Rather than entering the nothingness of the grave, you, believer, are ushered to a sofa to be at rest. You sit in paradise with Christ until you are ushered into the new creation.

1 Corinthians 15:47–49,”The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

Have a blessed Lent.


[1] Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club.

About Pastor Sam Wellumson

Rev. Sam Wellumson is pastor at Christ the King Free Lutheran Church of East Grand Forks, MN. He completed his undergraduate degree at University of Northwestern St. Paul, MN and his M.Div. from the Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary in Plymouth, MN. Sam also currently serves as the Vice-chair for the AFLC’s Board of Publications & Parish Education. Sam and his wife, Sarah, have four children.

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