Anglican Morning Devotion, 26 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” (Colossians 1:12-21; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
If you have been deceived by self-pride, or modern heretical preaching, you may believe that your own efforts and good intentions have led to you salvation, but that falsehood is nowhere found in Holy Scripture. God is Sovereign and He saves whom He pleases and those whom He has called and chosen before the foundation of the world was ever laid in the early dawn of Creation.
While it is true that good works are the evidence of a soul’s salvation, it is not the means thereof. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10) No matter the works of a man, if he does not come to Christ by grace, he remains lost, for even “the plowing of the sinner is sin.” (See Proverbs 21:4)
Some well-meaning souls feel unworthy to come to the Throne of Grace because of their multitude of sins. They may believe that they must first amend their lives to the point of readiness. That approach can never lead to salvation. A wealthy king is able to grant great gifts of treasure because he is great. A great God is able to forgive the most desperate sinner because the wages for that sinners wickedness has been paid by the only Begotten Son of God. The sinner must come as he is, destitute of righteousness, before the Throne of Grace. He is drawn there by the irresistible magnetic draw of the Holy Ghost.
What is the result and evidence of salvation? It is at this point that works of righteousness become the defining point. We are saved, not BY good works, but UNTO good works. Once we have received the Lord Jesus Christ into the Temple of our hearts, He becomes the sole Sovereign of that sinuous domain. His law is written on the walls of the chambers of our hearts. Wicked intent cannot coexist with the King of Glory. Our works of service become akin to those that comport with the will of God for we have surrendered our self-wills (some call free will falsely) and our works of righteousness become HIS works. We can lay no claim on personal righteousness for those belong to the Lord who works in and through our being.
As we read those laws on the walls of our heart, written in love, we are only then able to keep His law and His Commandments. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21) We are unable to purge ourselves by our own power, but by His power working in us. As we read those beautiful Words of faith on our hearts, we become more wholly like Him.
In the solitude of our soul, we may be privileged to hear the soft, beckoning call of the Holy Spirit. He never speaks of Himself, but always points to Christ. We need to keep quiet to hear that still, small voice. Though the surroundings may be violent, our hearts can be still and focus – not on the noise – but upon that Voice. It whispers to the listener, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
Where do we find all things that our Lord has said unto us? We find them in the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21 How can the Holy Ghost bring those things to our remembrance if we have not even made the effort to read them? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Armed with salvation and the Word, we are made ready for service and good works.