Anglican Morning Devotion for 5 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:4-11; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not require baptism for He was solely righteous among men. Then why did Jesus deign to be baptized? Because he satisfied every requirement of the Law of God in making public example for us to follow. Though salvation is a work of grace in the heart, the public confession by baptism is an outward and visible expression of that inward and invisible grace by which we are saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesian 2:8-9)
All who are admitted into a covenantal relationship with God must come by grace and should be baptized as outward evidence of Him on whom you have believed. We cannot be ashamed of the One who bled and died for us.
During the days of Abraham, Israel dwelt in tents and wandered across the high deserts of the land. They were chiefly herdsmen who dug wells everywhere they sojourned for any time. But God had promised to make Abraham a father of nations, and God’s plans are as sure as if already accomplished. He moves with deliberate intent to fulfill every utterance of His Word. He is I AM who exists outside the bounds of time. His Word is efficacious in the past, in the present, and in the future regardless our limited concept of time.
Before Abraham could become the father of nations, he must be granted as father of the first and foremost nation in the order of God’s favor – Israel: “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” (Genesis 17:4-6) Israel represents the people of God who have believed the promise made to Abraham of a Redeemer whether Jew or Gentile.
A nation must have an understanding of their legacy and national heritage. The nation must be founded upon a very high standard to survive. This understanding of the oppressive power of bondage and sin was gained during a four hundred year stay in Egypt. But in the fullness of time, God sent Moses into Egypt to lead His people out. The first Passover was conducted in Goshen of Egypt in which the Angle of Death would Passover each dwelling that had the blood of the lamb applied to the lintels and doorposts. Pharoah, that night, lost his only son just as thousands of other households in Egypt who were not covered by the blood (a foreshadow of the blood of Christ). Pharoah relented and agreed to let the people go. Upon their departure, Pharoah had second thoughts and sent the might of Egypt’s army after them.
Israel found themselves trapped between the waters of the Red Sea and Pharoah’s army. They lost heart since they could not believe the power of God could save them. But God sent a Pillar of Cloud by Day and Fire by Night to intercede between Pharoah’s army and the children of Israel. That protective cloud would both lead and follow Israel throughout forty years of Wilderness journey.
God separated the great waters of the Red Sea and made the ground dry for the crossing over of Israel. It was at this moment that Israel became a people, unified under the banner of the Lord. They crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground and were followed by the Pillar of Cloud, and Pharoah’s Army. They were thusly baptized as the nation of Israel in the Red Sea waters. This was a people who were to be led by God.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-5)