“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17
Reader, it is a point of the greatest importance for you to know, that every evil thing is of yourself and every good thing is of God.
Without faith we cannot be saved; but (says Paul, Ephesians 2:8), “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” We are commanded to repent; but (Acts 5:31) we read that Christ is exalted at the Father’s right hand, to be a “Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel.” We must be born again; but regeneration is wholly of God’s will. His children are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man — but of God” (John 1:13).
- Saving knowledge is the gift of God: “to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 13:11).
- Effectual calling is a Divine work (2 Timothy 1:9).
- Justification is entirely of grace; we are justified freely.
- Adoption is an act of grace; He grants that high privilege as it seems good in His sight.
- Perseverance in duty is God’s gift; for “We are preserved by the power of God to salvation.”
- Eternal life is also a gift: “the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ.”
A right knowledge of these things, believer, will keep you humble, and dependent upon God; and not only dispose you to give Him the glory of His grace — but to seek to Him diligently for it. And a clear representation of them will encourage the poor, guilty, self-condemned sinner to seek them because they are free gifts, and entirely of grace.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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