The Week of Pentecost – Saturday
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10.
Dear Christian, the Holy Spirit has performed a creative act in kindling faith in Christ within you. He infused life into your spiritual death, light into your darkness. In your present condition, you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. You are a “new man” (Ephesians 4:24) in Christ Jesus, with whom you are united through faith. The Apostle Paul declared: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).
You, as a Christian, a new creature, possess new life, a new mind, new powers. Now, you will do new works, walk in new works, in the works of faith, of the new life, the new mind, the new strength, which you have received by God’s grace in Christ. The Holy Spirit has before ordained that you should walk in these good works. James confessed: “I will show [you] my faith by my works” (2:18c). When, according to His purpose and grace in Christ Jesus, God created you anew, He thereby endowed you with the ability and will to do good works. “It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). And now, it is His will that you should lead a sanctified, holy life. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thessalonians 4:3).
We have not been liberated from our servitude to sin, simply to live however we would like; we have gone from being the servants of sin to being “the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). From now on, we are His servants, bought and paid for. And it is our responsibility and privilege to live as such. “For ye are bought with a price,” we read in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians; “Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (6:20). But, this is not a servitude that we should fear. This is not a life of bondage or of slavery, but a life which we should happily live out, as we are constantly reminded by the Gospel of just what our Lord went through to redeem us from “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Remember this! But also remember that faith, once kindled within you, is sustained in you only by the constant and powerful operation of the Holy Ghost within you working through His Word. “Ye are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (I Peter 1:5).
And so all new things that are given you together with faith, hence also your sanctification, are sustained in you only by the power of the Holy Ghost constantly operating within you. And He does this by the Gospel, and in no other way. As iron can remain hot only by constant union with fire, so you can remain in faith and sanctification only through constant union with the Holy Ghost, operating through the Gospel of grace and mercy in Christ Jesus. We repeat: This union with the Holy Ghost and with His divine power by which He creates and sustains true sanctification within you, is established solely through the Gospel. Therefore, Christian, cling to and continue to treasure this Gospel of Christ for the preservation of your spiritual and eternal life.
PRAYER – God, the Holy Ghost, I thank Thee that through Thy Gospel Thou hast created me anew in Christ Jesus. I thank Thee that Thou hast given me a new mind and new strength through this Gospel. Help me, Lord, to continue to perform new works, those works which Thou hast before ordained that I should walk in them according to the counsel of Thy Word. And grant me grace to continue steadfastly in the Gospel all my life, and, in the power of that Gospel, continue to abide with me and in me, for without that Gospel I can do nothing right and pleasing to Thee. Hear and answer me for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Renew me, O eternal Light,
and let my heart and soul be bright;
illumined with the light of grace,
that issues from Thy holy face.
Destroy in me the lust of sin,
from all impureness make me clean;
oh, grant me power and strength,
my God, to strive against my flesh and blood!
Create in me a new heart,
Lord, that gladly I obey Thy Word;
and naught but what Thou wilt,
desire; with such new life my soul inspire.
(Hymn 398, st. 1-3; TLH)