“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Let no man be discouraged from coming to Christ because he finds not in himself a godly sorrow for sin, an ability to repent, and all those spiritual qualifications which he desires to have. We must first be in Christ before we are new creatures.
We would gladly have something before we come. We are prone to conclude that God’s pardons are not free, but that we must bring something in our hand — whereas the proclamation runs thus: “Buy without money. Come and take the water of life freely.” Therefore, do not say, “I have a sinful disposition and a hard heart and cannot mourn for sin as I should; I will, therefore, stay until I am better.” This is as if you should say, “I must go to the physician, but I will have my disease healed first.”
The end of going to Christ is that:
- hardness of your heart may be taken away;
- deadness of your spirit may be removed;
- you may be enlivened, quickened, healed;
- you may hate sin and become fruitful in righteousness.
Look not for sanctification nor for genuine fruits of righteousness before your soul is united to Christ by a living faith.
For it is faith that purifies the heart and works (produces good works) by love. It is faith that proves to us the hand by which alone we can lay hold on Christ. You must first be in Christ, grafted into Christ by faith, before you can be a new creature.
Lord, give me faith, if I have it not, and increase it if I have, that I may bring forth fruit to Your glory.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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