Anglican Morning Devotion, 2 April 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalms 8:3-9; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Man is the crowning achievement of God in Creation. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
Being first created in His image, that image was marred at Eden. Sin and death came upon the beauty of God’s Creation as a result of Adam’s Fall – death, sickness, and suffering came upon all Creation – not just mankind, but the animal and plant kingdom as well. Many of doubtful faith blame God for the misfortunes that befall mankind such as war, disease, death and sorrow. They forget that these did not arise from the heart of a merciful God, but in the trail of man’s fallen estate. Our primogenitor made a choice whose consequences have fallen upon all his issue. These results come not from God, but from man’s disobedience – a blood disease inherited from Adam.
You may say, “But what have I done to deserve these hurtful issues of life?” In your fallen state, what have you done to deserve better? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) Can you gain God’s favor by mere works? No, you cannot, for we are “saved by grace, not by works, lest any man boast.” (See Ephesians 2:8-9) The fiery serpent in the Wilderness stung its victim with great pain and death, but God made a remedy. Moses was told to fasten a brazen serpent on a pole so that all who looked upon the brazen serpent lifted up would live. Yes, they would live, but the pain of the serpent left its mark and pain. Sin, even repented sin, leaves scars. Man is scarred with sin, but He may enjoy the benefits of salvation in Christ lifted up as the serpent of the Wilderness: The elect of God are saved, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:24-25)
Unredeemed man perverts the plan of God from Creation until today. Perversion of the estate of matrimony is one of the most reprehensible sins against the very estate that is the pattern of Christ and His Church: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” The image of Christ and His Church is perverted through man’s sinful corruption of that estate.
Man is under a curse from which he cannot escape. There is noting he can do to redeem himself from his sins. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10) The law is a curse to man. He cannot in any wise keep the law inviolate. The law was given to bring to man’s awareness his helpless condition under the law. But for those who have been drawn to the Throne of Mercy, there has been made a satisfaction for our redemption from the curse of the law. Grace has overridden the penalty of the law in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfied the penalty of the law for those who are the sincere children of Abraham through faith in the same promise of a Redeemer made to Abraham. Through the compulsion of God’s love for His elect, we can come freely to the Throne of Grace and Mercy (the Mercy Seat of God which is Christ). “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Those who have been received into the family of God will be securely kept there with the same security of those eight souls who entered the Ark of Noah and were closed in by the Hand of God. “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12 (KJV)
At the last, all in Christ shall be glorified with Him: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)