“In the LORD I have righteousness and strength.” Isaiah 45:24 [See also 2 Corinthians 2:14, 5:19.]
Justification through faith in Christ seems at first a very dark doctrine, hard to be understood. But, after seriously considering it, in reference to ourselves we find by Scripture and by experience that we cannot be saved in any other way and that nothing can be surer than this, though all mankind should turn away from it. When we are made to see that our best performances are unclean in the sight of God and we cannot be accepted without the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, then we are brought to submit entirely to Christ, and at last to look upon ourselves as wholly justified through Him, which alone produces rest, strength, and a gentle spirit — the true image of Christ.
In vain do we hope to procure this rest by any reasonings or strong resolutions of our own? For if we are sometimes able to master our affections by our own strength, it is yet a building of our own and prevents our being earnest in prayer. It would be a form of godliness without its power and we would still be deceiving our own souls.
Nothing can be pleasing in the sight of God, and profit us in the last day, but that which He works Himself. Away, therefore, with all confidence in our works of righteousness. Let us acknowledge the weakness of our strength and apply in our poor, blind, naked, lost, and miserable condition, to the blood and righteousness of Christ. Then we shall also find power and dominion over sin.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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