Anglican Morning Devotion for 4 April 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:7-10; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Unfortunately, there are some very twisted views out there on salvation. Growing up in the South, many of my friends believed they were Christian by virtue of being born in America. Others believe so long as they espouse a verbal confession of belief (without evidence of faith) they are safely secured in the Kingdom. These are mostly based on a ball-park concept of Christianity meaning, if you are reasonably good, God will accept that disposition in Heaven. How far from truth all of these concepts are concerning true faith!
The first imperative to understand salvation is that salvation is God-initiated, not the other way around. We cannot prepare our hearts to be righteously fit for salvation. Even our decision to follow Christ is initiated by Him and not our own frail and sinful hearts. The hearts of men are always full of evil imagination: “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) The moment Adam, wittingly, partook of the forbidden fruit, he became a dead man spiritually. His sin separated him from God instantly, and all who are without Christ are dead in trespasses and sin. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Ephesians 2:1-2)
Do we need to belabor the point that the dead know nothing, and can DO nothing, to save themselves for they are DEAD? It is the Holy Ghost who calls the dead heart (quickens) to life. None DESERVE salvation – it is granted by the grace of God, the Holy Ghost drawing the sinner as with a fisher’s hook in the jaw to the Throne of Mercy. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10V) Perhaps you feel that, as the rule goes, you are an exception to the charge of sin? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:23-24) That freely granted justification was not earned in the least – it was a gift of grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12)
So, precisely what is salvation? It is the new birth of the old man created anew with the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ – IMPUTED not merited. Christ the righteous died a substitutionary death for us the unrighteous that we might be accounted righteous before the Father. “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14) Faith is the vehicle by which grace works in the heart to bring us to Christ. (See Hebrews 11)
Since no man is able to perfectly obey the Law of God, how can we keep His Law inviolate? The key to obedience to God is completely encompassed in our LOVE for Him. Our love is actually and only an echo of His love for us, for we could not love Him if He did not first love us. “We love him, because he first loved us.”
(1 John 4:19) The child will always bear the marks of the father, and so it is with the Christian child of God: “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:14-16)
There is the great blessing of security in Christ that attends the salvation of souls just as surely as were the eight souls secure in the Ark of Noah: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess 5:23) Just as our Lord lost none placed into His hand by the Father, neither will He lose you in Him.