by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7).
John 10:11-16; 27-30:
11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd....
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30I and my Father are one.
We owe our salvation wholly to the grace of God. God has loved us from all eternity with an infinite love, and has chosen us in Christ Jesus to be heirs of eternal life. (Ephesians chapter one. Read it carefully.) And throughout all time, from the beginning to the end of the world, Christ gathers, defends and preserves for himself a chosen communion, an elect Church. They are all one in him, in the unity of the faith. Thus there is no condemnation to them. Christ will present his Church to himself "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." "Whom he (God), did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.... whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Then, indeed, we can triumphantly exclaim with Paul, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" We are "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."
Teach us, O Lord, at what a cost we have been redeemed; that gold and silver could not redeem us, but that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. May this thought keep us truly humble. May we remember that we have not merited a thing; but that we are accepted only in the Beloved in whom we have redemption, through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. And may we remember that we have been chosen in him to be holy and without blame before him in love. O God, we thank Thee. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Eph. 2:8, 9; Jer. 31:3; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 5:27; Rom. 8:29-39.
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