Ninth Sunday after Trinity – Monday
I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39.
Mark well how confident the Apostle Paul was of possessing the grace and love of God, and of obtaining eternal salvation!
His was a confidence that dispelled fleshly doubts. Considering how confident he was, some expositors of Scripture think that he must have had a special revelation. But just see what he said! Does he speak only of himself? Does he not say “us”? Does he not, therefore, speak of the firm, unshakable confidence that all Christians should have? Certainly, he does.
Every Christian should be just as sure of the forgiveness of his sins and of eternal salvation as St. Paul was. Every Christian, I say. I am not speaking of unbelievers. And what must such confidence be founded on? On God’s Word and promise. God says that for Christ’s sake He daily and richly forgives all your sins to you. You know that God says so. Does God lie? That is impossible. Hence you are to be altogether sure of the forgiveness of your sins. And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. Hence you are to be altogether sure of your salvation. But, do you say, what if I fall from faith? Indeed, if you fall from faith, you make the grace of God in Christ of no effect for you. But rejoice and take comfort in the fact that God has promised to keep you in true faith through the Gospel. “[Ye] are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” says the Holy Ghost (I Peter 1:5; see also Romans 1:16).
Read once more what the Spirit inspired Paul to write in the text above. So you should be altogether sure, with unwavering confidence, my dear Christian, that God will preserve your faith and take you to heaven. Such confidence, alas! is often clouded within us due to our fleshly weaknesses. But always consider again the Word and promise of God. Then this confidence will ever again burst forth like a light; you will regain the assurance of the forgiveness of your sins and of your salvation.
PRAYER – My God! It is certain that for Christ’s sake Thou dost forgive my sins and Thou dost save me. For Thou sayest it and hast promised it. Therefore, give to me, I implore Thee, Thy Holy Spirit, that I may have full assurance of the same. Help me to have the greatest, firmest confidence in Thy sure Word and promise. And comfort me and fill my soul with joy over this blessed assurance, so that I may gladly walk in newness of life. Amen.
Jesus, Shepherd of the sheep, who Thy Father’s flock dost keep,
Safe we wake and safe we sleep, guarded still by Thee.
In Thy promise firm we stand, none can pluck us from Thy hand,
Speak – we hear – at Thy command, we will follow Thee.
By Thy blood our souls were bought, by Thy life salvation wrought,
By Thy light our feet are taught, Lord, to follow Thee.
Father, draw us to Thy Son; we with joy will follow on,
Till the work of grace is done, and from sin set free –
We in robes of glory dressed, join th’ assembly of the blest,
Gathered to eternal rest, in the fold with Thee.
Hymn 356. (ELHB)
Morning & Evening Prayer