By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God—Eph. 2: 8.
As members of the fallen race we were incapable of doing any work which our holy God could accept. Our present standing, therefore, as Christians, is not the result of anything that the old creature did, or could have done. It is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. This lesson must be thoroughly appreciated, else we shall be continually in danger of falling. … So far from considering the new heart, mind and will as an evolution of the old creature, the Apostle would have us understand distinctly that it is a new and separate creation. We were created in Christ Jesus, God's workmanship—prepared for good works, but not by good works.
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Our salvation is an unmerited favor of our Heavenly Father. Every gift or blessing comes from Him without our deserving it. While He requires faith as a condition, our faith no more merits His favor than the beggar's receiving alms earns them by right. It is of His grace that the salvation of justification and the salvation of God's calling have come to us. How we should thank and appreciate our great Benefactor!
Parallel passages: Rom. 3: 19-5: 2; 11: 5, 6; Deut. 9: 5; Gal. 5: 4; Eph. 1: 19; 2: 5; 2Tim. 1: 9; Matt. 16: 17; Rom. 10: 13, 14, 17; Phil. 1: 29; Jas. 1: 17; Rom. 11: 28, 29.
Questions: What have this week's experiences been in line with this text? How were they borne? What helped or hindered therein? What did they effect?
CHRIST, ALL IN ALL
IN Christ all fullness dwells: from Him proceeds
All that fall'n man, poor, wretched, guilty, needs.
In Him the contrite, bruised in spirit, find
Whate'er can heal the sorrows of the mind—
Forgiving love, that saves from blank despair,
Rich grace, that banishes each anxious care,
Soft pity, that relieves the bursting sigh,
And truth, revealing joys that never die.
Thrice happy they, who to His word attend,
His favor seek, and on His strength depend.
'Tis theirs to know His heart-consoling voice,
To share His smile, and in His name rejoice.
To them, reclaimed in mercy from the fall
And heav'nward marching, Christ is all in all:
In want, their treasure—in distress, their stay—
In gloom, their day-spring—vigor, in decay—
'Mid foes, their guard—in solitude, their guest—
In storms, their hiding place—in toils, their rest—
In bonds, their freedom—their relief, in pain—
In life, their glory—and in all things, gain.
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