Ninth Sunday after Trinity – Saturday
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:3-6.
We know of a certainty that God, in great mercy, with great earnestness, and with great power, through the Gospel and His Holy Spirit, seeks to convert and to save everyone who hears the Gospel. Hence we know of a certainty that it is man’s own fault exclusively if he is not converted and saved.
And with like certainty we know that when man is converted and saved, this is exclusively by the grace and working of God, without any merit or co-working on the part of man. “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9). And from the text at the head of our lesson we learn that we Christians—whom in this present time He has through the Gospel, by grace, made His believing children, and whom He will bring to salvation—have from eternity been chosen and predestinated by God to such adoption of children by grace alone, for Christ’s sake, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Yes, indeed, when a sinner is converted and saved, it is due exclusively to the grace and working of God, and not to any merit or co-working whatsoever on the part of man. What God in this present time works and effects in us by grace alone, He has determined to do from eternity, moved thereto solely by His grace for the sake of Christ Jesus’ work of redemption. (Notice from the text at the head of our lesson how many times God’s gracious predestination is directly connected to our Lord Jesus Christ.)
How sure we may and should be of our salvation! God has chosen and predestinated us to this from eternity. And since you now experience the gracious working of God in you, my dear Christian, you must also be confident that from eternity God has chosen and predestinated you to salvation.
PRAYER – Lord, my God, it is all Thy grace. By Thy grace in Christ Thou hast drawn me to Thee and made me Thy child. By Thy grace in Christ, according to Thy promise, Thou wilt keep me in the faith and give me eternal bliss. By Thy grace in Christ Thou hast from eternity chosen and unalterably predestinated me, a poor sinner, to the adoption of children and to salvation. Complete Thy gracious work in me, O Lord, preserve me in the true faith, and let me inherit eternal life for the sake of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen, Thou wilt do it. Amen.
O Love, who ere life’s earliest dawn
On me Thy choice hast gently laid;
O Love, who here as man wast born
And like to us in all things made
—O Love, I give myself to Thee,
Thine ever, only Thine, to be.
Hymn 397, 2. (TLH)