As I have shared earlier this month, this year I am taking my daily devotionals from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. I am enjoying the writing and the thoughts, but admittedly sometimes I am lost or distracted in translating 19th century English into 21st century American. Therefore, since I found this morning’s entry so interesting, I have taken the liberty of taking Pastor Spurgeon’s words and updating them to 2012. I apologize for taking the liberty.
Recent conversations with some friends from church made this morning’s devotional quite appropriate. My friends had been down about sins in their lives. They had resigned themselves to the idea that they could not do better. They were depending too much on their own power to make the change.
January 31, Morning
Jeremiah 23:6 (NIV1984)
6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The LORD Our Righteousness.
It will always give Christians the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are our brothers and sisters in Christ depressed and sad! I do not think they should be. I do not think they would be if they could always see how they have been made perfect in Christ. There are some who are always talking about how they are unable to do good, how easy it is to sin and how dark their heart and soul is. This is an unfortunate truth of our fallen nature, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are made “perfect in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV1984)
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong
We should not be surprised when our brothers and sisters in Christ spend too much time focusing on their sinful natures. One who does this would definitely look down and depressed; but we must remember that “Christ is made unto us righteousness,” we shall be encouraged by this teaching:
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV1984)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
What worries me, although Satan attacks me, although I may experienced many things before I get to heaven, these things happen to me in the covenant of divine grace. There is nothing lacking in my Lord; Christ has done it all. On the cross He said, “It is finished!” and if it is finished, then am I complete in Him, and can rejoice with unspeakable joy and full of glory:
Philippians 3:8 –10 (NIV1984)
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
You will not find here on earth more Godly people than those who accept and believe in their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I depend on Christ alone; I trust Christ alone for salvation and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up within us this beautiful thought – “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, knowing that I am saved by His efforts?”
2 Corinthians 5:14 -15 (NIV 1984)
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longerlive for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
If we are justified by Christ’s righteousness, and we are, we should then very much value our ongoing sanctification.