Anglican Morning Devotion for 21 May 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
(John 14:6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
We have often heard that ‘all roads lead to Rome’. Even if that were true, it is not true that all roads lead to Heaven. There is only ONE Way that leads up to the Gates of Splendor of our Father’s Paradise. Cunning and deceitful men would have us believe that there is no ‘only’ means of salvation, and no only Savior.
We have written before of the singleness of the righteous path. There has been, from the beginning, a right and a wrong; an up or a down; a good or a bad; and a true or a false. Though we may not like the uncompromising nature of absolutes, we had better develop a liking for those absolutes because God is ABSOLUTE. He is absolutely GOOD; absolutely righteous; absolutely true; and absolutely Almighty. The laws that our God has instilled in nature are absolute. Physics complies with those laws perfectly and consistently. But God has also endowed mankind with volition in his actions. There is a difference in volition and free will. Volition means to do that which one desires to do without restriction. Unfortunately, the depravity of man inherited from our primitive parents (Adam and Eve) is always subject to sinister desires of the flesh. In that sense, man is captive to the unwholesome desires of the flesh and the stomach. At bottom line, the will of man is in bondage to sin in his natural state.
But the Spirit of God does not operate subject to the natural state. The Holy Spirit works in the ‘spiritual realm’ and His works go unnoticed by the vast majority of the masses. In fact, they prefer not to notice because their hearts are evil and their consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They have rejected the appeals of righteousness so often that those appeals, though continuing, now go unheeded.
God has known His elect from the foundation of the world. In due process of time, His spirit calls to the chosen of God to respond from the death of sins and transgression to the abundance of life in Christ. While were yet “dead in trespasses and sin,… Christ died for us.” (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 5:8) Spiritually speaking, there are only two ways for man to go – UP or DOWN!. There are only two families upon the face of the earth – those who are the adopted children of God, and those who are doomed to receive that reward justified by sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) and “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
But it is the Holy Spirit who awakens us from the death of the sinner. “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: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; . . . 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:1-5, 8) Please note that salvation is a free gift – not something based on the merits of our own goodness or good works. And we were DEAD before the Holy spirit quickened (Made alive) us. The dead can do nothing at all to save themselves.
The WAY of Christ leads up. It is narrow and straight. No too many folk desire to travel the upward slopes to the peak. They prefer the broad descending path – easy to travel and filled with people. Man seems always to prefer the crowd. The wise man will choose the path less taken that leads to eternal rewards. As King George the Sixth noted in his Christmas message at the outset of World War II: “I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.” (Minnie Haskins, Gate of the Year)