Adoption - Ephesians 1:1-14

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Welcome Message Good morning everyone. So glad to be back with you today. Our scripture today will be Ephesians 1:1-14 While you turn there, I'd like to share with you a bit about what led me to preach on this passage today. As you know we are members at the Crossing Church and we were very fortunate to be able to attend a really special moment with Jarrod whom you all know and his family. It was for the adoption of a little girl they met through the foster care system. It's hard to put into words how amazing it was to see such an incredible event where a small child is officially made a member of a family that they were not born into. Jarrod made the following post about the event on his Facebook page after the ceremony: BIG day in our Family. We got to make official what God has been doing all year in our lives. Trea’ (for short) joined our home earlier this year and today she became part of our forever family. We are exceedingly joyful to call her daughter and sister. She is a gift of God’s grace that He has added to our family. We’ve tried to represent that reality and her birth name in giving her the name Trea’Karis Josephine. “Trea’” and “K” are part of her first and middle birth name. Karis means grace. Josephine is the feminine form of the Hebrew name Joseph which means God will add/increase/raise. God has increased our family by His grace through this gift of our daughter. We are excited to sign up today, and for life, to all that her journey will involve. The fun, happy and good as well as the hard and heavy. Asking God for grace and strength constantly to be the parents and siblings she needs. Adoption is such an incredible thing - and I was reminded of the passage I intend to preach on today where God through the Apostle Paul describes how his chosen people are also his adopted Children. So although I will be speaking on several different critical doctrines from this passage today, I hope to keep in the forefront the incredible miracle that is that we, underserving of anything, have been chosen before the foundation of the world to be part of the very family of God. With that, let me pray for us. Prayer Father, thank you for adopting us. Thank you for the personal relationship we have with you, that we can call you father! Thank you that you chose us long before we ever did anything to deserve it, and that our adoption is forever secure. Grateful Wisdom Prepare my heart and their hearts to receive the TREASURE of your word! Scripture 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual Blessings in Christ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 1:1–14). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. This is the word of the Lord. Purpose of the message (What's the Big Idea) Before we get into our text for today, let me set the stage a bit here. The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians to the churches around Ephesus (Acts 19) to display the scope of God’s eternal plan for all humanity—for Jews and Gentiles alike. This is the mystery of God, hidden for ages but now made known in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote Ephesians from prison (3:1; 6:20), perhaps in Rome, Caesarea, or even Ephesus itself (if it was a circular letter). If written from Ephesus, the letter likely was composed around AD 54–57. If writing from Caesarea or Rome, Paul likely wrote the letter circa ad 58–63. It seems that his audience consisted mainly of non-Jewish Christians (2:11–22; 3:1, 6; 4:17–24). The first three chapters focus on what Christians should believe, unfolding the glorious riches of God’s grace in Christ. Dead sinners are made alive and gain eternal salvation “by grace … through faith” (2:8). The last three chapters explain the implications of God’s grace for the church, for individuals, and for families. This second section comes to a climax with a command to stand with the armor of God against the devil. Paul wrote this letter while in prison, probably in Rome about a.d. 60. The title of my message today is: "Our Adoption is: Personal, Predestined, Purifying, Purposeful, and Protected." - you can write that down if you'd like. repeat Like I told you a couple of weeks ago, I learned from one of my mentors to use these longer sermon titles as they serve as a helpful way for you to remember what I preached about today, so if someone asks you what the sermon was on today, you can tell them: "Our Adoption is: Personal, Predestined, Purifying, Purposeful, and Protected." This will also serve as an outline for my message today. So with that being said, lets dive into our text and see what I mean by our adoption being "Personal" Our Adoption is "Personal" 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual Blessings in Christ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. First off, I'd just like to call out just how rich these first couple of verses are. You can see here how much doctrine is jammed in here. I could probably preach a whole sermon on just verse 1. I was thinking about this and it struck me. Maybe as Paul was sitting there in prison writing this letter, he didn't know how much time he had left and he wanted to maximize every stroke of the pen to get as much truth into the minds of the people as possible. Oh that we would have such urgency in our mission. How different would this world be, if we refused to waste a single moment on idle words - preferring instead to constantly let our speech be filled with truth and grace? So, I can't spend a lot of time here, but I would encourage you this week to look into what the significance of being an "Apostle" is, the sovereignty of God, and what Paul means by "saints". That being said, let's look at Verse 2: Notice how in verse 2, Paul refers to God as "our" father, then in verse 3 he calls him the "father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Again, I know for some of you may be like: "ok yeah - God is our father got it." Yeah but don't miss how RADICAL this is! Paul is saying that God is not just some ethereal force floating around out there a great "spirit" in the sky, the cosmic watchmaker of the deists, some malevolent monster like Baal or Zeuss or Aries. No the God whom Paul preaches is a PERSONAL God, he is our father, not only that Christ is OUR BROTHER. So not only has God, the almighty creator of the entire universe chosen to call us his sons and daughters, but he has made us brothers and sisters of King Jesus. If you have time someday you should do some research on other world religions. This concept of God as our father is TOTALLY foreign to all other religions out there. I mean like 0% of other religions teach this sort of close intimate relationship with God. I think its just important we understand that as I know it can be easy to miss when we have always lived it here in the Bible Belt. You know the other thing that is striking about the "father son/daughter" relationship we have with God? Studies have shown that actively involved Fathers are one of the key contributors to the development of healthy children and adults. In the words of Dr. Kyle Pruett, “positive father care is associated with more pro-social and positive moral behavior in boys and girls.”Pruett, 2000, p. 52. This is borne out by research from the University of Pennsylvania which indicates that children who feel a closeness and warmth with their father are twice as likely to enter college, 75 percent less likely to have a child in their teen years, 80 percent less likely to be incarcerated and half as likely to show various signs of depression.Frank Furstenberg and Kathleen Harris, “When and Why Fathers Matter: Impacts of Father Involvement on Children of Adolescent Mothers,” in Young Unwed Fathers: Changing Roles and Emerging Policies, R. Lerman and T. Ooms, eds. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993). But let's not just listen to studies - I can tell you from my own experience. My mother and father split up when I was a child. I don't remember exactly when. I think I was 7. All I know is I don’t ever remember having my father in my home with me. Combine this with the fact that I was a latch key kid (as were all the kids in my neighborhood) and you had a powder keg. I had no one to guide me as I entered my teenage years and started to deal with all the new emotions and struggles that all teenagers deal with. I was a train wreck, I started to experiment with drugs and girls and eventually, I was able to get my behavior under control, but I struggled for many years with a crippling lack of confidence that I hid behind bravado. In fact, that is why I joined the Marine Corps. At the time I would have told you it was because I wanted to fight against Al-Qaeda for what they did on 9/11 - but deep down inside, I joined the Marines because they were awe inspiring warriors and I wanted to prove that I was man enough to be one. As I've shared with you before, being falsely accused of crimes while in the service did nothing to help my shattered ego. This lack of confidence spilled over after I left the Marine Corps and I struggled with relationships with male leaders in my life - always doubting myself and being eaten up with feelings of inadequacy. I needed to be affirmed, and I could never get enough. I needed a father to tell me I was a man. I'm not exaggerating when I say this was killing me. I was dealing with all of the symptoms of hyper-tension and depression. It wasn't until a good friend of mine walked me through a study that finally put what I was feeling into words. My lack of a father when I was a boy had "wounded" me and I had been trying to prove I was a man through self-destructive behavior ever since. There was only one cure. I needed a new father. So I prayed and fasted for 5 days and begged God to fill that void and help me to get my affirmation of value from Him. And I can stand here today and tell you He did it. Praise God, he did it. Right at 5 days, I felt a peace I had never felt before. I finally accepted that God was all the father I would ever need and that in His eyes I was good enough because I was covered by the righteousness of Christ. And wouldn't you know it - this is so how God works - right after this, when I had come to fully rely on God and God ALONE, one of the male leaders in my life whom I had been craving affirmation from but never getting it, pulled me aside one day and gave me that affirmation. I almost laughed because I didn't get what I had wanted all those years until I didn't need it anymore. One last thought on these verses before we move on. Yes God is our father, but unlike our earthly fathers, God CHOSE us. Remember verse 4: 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. God Chose us to be His children before the foundation of the world. Now there are some people today who would say that this verse simply means that God chose a "people" to be his people, not specific individuals. But that doesn't make sense in this verse - because it follows it up with "that we should be holy and blameless" if this were referring to some large group of people, then it would be saying that ALL of those people would be holy and blameless. That doesn't make any sense when we read the rest of scripture. Scripture is very clear that even within God's chosen people the Jews, many were rejected. No, this can't be the correct interpretation, because the whole rest of the Bible shows that the Atonement of Christ is limited to a specific number of people, a subset of all people. So this "choosing" must be a PERSONAL choosing. God Chose me, James by name. Me specifically. If you are a Christian, then he chose you specifically. Isn't that such a more powerful kind of love? Adoption for Jarrod and Jennifer of Trea was a choice they had to make. Once the Lord put her in their home and she was available for adoption, they had to say “yes” or “no”. Adoption is always a choice by the one adopting to the one adopted. This choosing before the foundation of the world, leads us to our next point. Our Adoption is personal and "Predestined" In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Like I discussed above in that we are chosen by God, we didn't choose Him, he chose us. Specifically and personally by name, he also did this before the foundation of the world. We who are his chosen people were "predestined" The Greek word used here, proorizō, means “to choose” or “to decide beforehand.” Paul uses the verb proorizō five times in his letters (Rom 8:29–30; 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:5, 11). In every instance, God is the one who predestines; salvation as an overall plan depends on His will and authority. Now some may object to predestination by saying that means we don’t have free will to choose. This is a whole other sermon, however, I think one of the keys to understanding this truth is to acknowledge how totally depraved mankind is. We can literally do no good thing apart from Jesus (John 15:5) - therefore if it were totally up to us, if we were TOTALLY free, then we would never choose God. If you don't believe that, then I suggest you need to look at the world a little more and maybe read some history. Mankind is HOPELESSLY evil and always has been. We are certainly NOT evolving into better humans over time. So if we are totally depraved and unable and unwilling if we're being honest to choose God, then we need to be chosen by Him first. But we are still required to respond to the gospel call. The famous American Bible teacher Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895–1960) often used an illustration to help people make sense of election. He asked them to imagine a cross like the one on which Jesus died, only so large that it had a door in it. Over the door were these words from Revelation: “Whosoever will may come.” These words represent the free and universal offer of the gospel. By God’s grace, the message of salvation is for everyone. Every man, woman, and child who will come to the cross is invited to believe in Jesus Christ and enter eternal life. On the other side of the door a happy surprise awaits the one who believes and enters. From the inside, anyone glancing back can see these words from Ephesians written above the door: “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” Election is best understood in hindsight, for it is only after coming to Christ that one can know whether one has been chosen in Christ. Those who make a decision for Christ find that God made a decision for them in eternity past. Our Adoption is personal, predestined, and "Purifying" 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight This is the heart of the Gospel message. As we know man is totally and hopelessly depraved, we can't follow God's laws and we sin constantly. But God has redeemed us, the word here literally refers to paying a price to free us from sin. We know from our studies of the Old Testament that the blood of animals was used as a temporary atonement for sins. But this atonement needed to be repeated every single day - because the blood shed by the animals was an imperfect sacrifice. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 9:22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. And where exactly did this blood come from, whose blood is Paul talking about here? Of course He is referring to God's own son Jesus. Only Jesus, fully God and fully man could provide the perfect sacrifice that was required to once and for all atone for all sins. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 10:14). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. But if we have forgiveness from sin by His death, what then does it mean that he was raised? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 6:4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. So as John Piper likes to say, God's Grace is Pardon AND Power. We aren't just forgiven of our sins, we are now new creatures, we have been given new hearts just as was promised through Ezekiel. And with these new hearts and the Spirit inside of us, we now have the power to live holy lives and be focused on our mission to make disciples. Our Adoption is personal, predestined, purifying, and "Purposeful" 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. What was God doing before the creation of the universe? This question has been asked before usually in a skeptical way to try and confuse. However fortunately the Bible has plenty to say about what God was doing before the creation of the Universe. The Bible often speaks of God's eternal counsel, of His plan of salvation etc. It's very important for us to understand that God is not out there adjusting course based on what we do as people. Everything that has happened and will happen is under the direct control of God. This should comfort us by the way. Jesus dying on the cross was not "plan b" RC Sproul puts it this way: The God of Scripture has no “plan b” or “plan c.” His “plan a” is from everlasting to everlasting. It is both perfect and unchangeable as it rests on God’s eternal character, which is among other things, holy, omniscient, and immutable. God’s eternal plan is not revised because of moral imperfections within it that must be purified. His plan was not corrected or amended because He gained new knowledge that He lacked at the beginning. God’s plan never changes because He never changes and because perfection admits to no degrees and cannot be improved upon. This plan for redemption that God has always had was made in full agreement with Jesus. In theology this is called the "Covenant of Redemption". It was an agreement that God made with Jesus that if Jesus would lay down his life to atone for sins, then God would bring Him back to life and glorify Him at the right hand of the father. Jesus himself describes this in John 17:1-5 “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. Because God honored the eternal covenant of redemption, Christ became the heir of His Father’s promises. Because this covenant was never violated, we reap its benefits as heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Our Adoption is personal, predestined, purifying, purposeful, and "Protected" 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. You notice that in verse 13 Paul shifts from discussing "we" to "you also". Paul is now addressing the "Gentile" believers near Ephesus. If you don't know what a Gentile is, well look in the mirror. Anyone who is not an Ethnic Jew would have been considered a Gentile. Paul stresses that the same inheritance (v. 14) God gave to Jews is also made available to non-Jews according to God’s revealed mystery (vv. 9; 3:3–9). To be clear, although this was shocking to the Jews, it was definitely not anything new. God was very clear about His plan to create a universal kingdom that included all nations throughout the Old Testament. This began with his promise to Abram when He called him out of his homeland. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 12:1–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. This same promise was reinforced again by the Prophet Isaiah: 2 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, 3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Is 2:2–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. So we know that Scripture is very clear that salvation is for all people not just the Jews. But what about it being "Protected" what does that mean? Another way to say this is "eternal security" or the "perseverance of the Saints". Paul describes it as us being "sealed". In the ancient world, a seal indicated ownership and protection - think about a King's "signet ring" that was used to seal official documents or decrees to ensure authenticity and ownership. The notion of sealing in this context is related to the Day of Judgment: Sealed believers will be kept for their ultimate inheritance—redemption at the end of the age (Eph 1:14)—by the gift of the promised Spirit (Ezek 36:26–27; Joel 2:28–30), which is given to Jews and Gentiles alike. The gift of the Holy Spirit not only empowers believers to live holy lives (Eph 3:16), but also serves as a guarantee and reminder that God will one day fully complete His work in believers. inheritance Refers to the complete experience of the salvation that God promises to His people but which they have yet to receive in full. This experience culminates in their redemption upon Jesus’ return. So this last part is something that is important for us to understand. Our redemption is "already" but "not yet" in other words, we are "being saved". While we are still alive we are not yet fully glorified, we are being sanctified, but until the final day when we will be fully glorified the process is still ongoing. So we can see that Our Adoption is personal, predestined, purifying, purposeful, and "Protected". So what then shall we do? How should the truth of our adoption influence the way we live our lives for Jesus moving forward? Application Fear not! 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Romans 8:31-35 I'm not sure I can say anything much better than that. If we are truly saved, then we will be preserved until the end. We have nothing to fear! We don't have to worry about who wins the next presidential election, we don't have to worry about COVID, we don't have to worry about America falling apart, we don't have to worry about cancer, we don't have to worry about our jobs, we don't have to worry about ANYTHING! Why because our Adoption is personal, predestined, purifying, purposeful, and protected by the one true and living God! But, if you are sitting here today and you can't say for sure that you are Adopted, then my friend, I'm begging you, don't wait. Because if our Adoption promises us glory forever more in God's presence, then the alternative is torment forevermore apart from God in hell. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 13:24–28). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. Friend, being born into a Christian family is not enough, attending Sunday school is not enough, knowing all the bible stories is not enough, following the law is not enough, being baptized is not enough, being a deacon is not enough, leading worship is not enough, being a good citizen is not enough - only by being Adopted into God's family will you be saved! I am here today proclaiming the message to you - your sins are terrible, and you deserve hell, but God sent his son to die so you can be adopted as sons and be one of Christ's brothers and experience true freedom from sin and death and the promise of eternity with a loving father God. Don't ignore God's call today! This leads me to my next point: Share the gospel boldly. Like I said above, I am here to share the good news or the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm sure I said some things today that weren't that good. I probably could have delivered my points more effectively, I could have done a lot of things better. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. We know that its true that those who are saved are chosen before the foundation of the world, therefore all I have to do is share the gospel message and then it is up to you to respond. God will give you the faith to respond to my message if He wants to. It isn't about me. Now of course that doesn't excuse me from being prepared. Just like it doesn't excuse any of you Christians from being prepared to give a defense for the hope that is within you. 1 Pet 3:15. So as I've said before to you, study this book. You should be reading it over and over again as often as you can. 15 minutes per day is all it takes to read this book all the way through every year. Listen to audio bibles, listen to podcasts about the Bible and about Biblical truth. Listen to podcasts that address the issues of this world from a Biblical worldview. Be prepared, and then go boldly and share the gospel! Don't wait for people to come to you, Jesus doesn't say "live your life and wait for people to cross your path". No he says "Go into all the world and make disciples" Matt 28:18 the Great Commission. We are to GO. Go find people who are different than you, pray for God to help you find people you can share the gospel with. And then don't stress out about the outcome - if God chooses them, they will be saved. Period. Finally, be filled with joy! Christian, we aren't stoics, we don't believe that we should just grit our teeth and stand like a statue against the trials and tribulations of this world. John Piper likes to say that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. What that means is that the more joy we take in our relationship with God, the more God is glorified in us. All creation is groaning Romans 8:22, this world is filled with misery and it only seems to be getting worse. In the United States the RICHEST NATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, According to the CDC, On average, adjusted for age, the annual U.S. suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, from 10.5 to 13.0 suicides per 100,000 people, the highest rate recorded in 28 years. People are killing themselves because they have no hope. Christian we have hope and that hope should fill us with joy. We should be the light of the world, like a city on a hill, or a lamp in a house Matt 5:14-16. People should see us and WANT what we have! I leave you with words from Spurgeon: What a glorious thing, it is to be a Christian, to have faith in Christ. Come my soul, take thy rest, the great High Priest has full atonement made. Thou hast much good laid up, not for many years, but for eternity; take thine ease; eat spiritual things; drink wine on the lees and be merry; for it cannot be said of thee, “tomorrow thou shalt die,” for thou shalt never die, for “thy life is hid with Christ in God.” Thou art no fool to take thy ease and rest, for this is legitimate ease and rest, the rest which the God of Sabaoth hath provided for all his people. And then, O Christian! march boldly to the river of death, march calmly up to the throne of judgment, enter placidly and joyfully into the inheritance of thy Lord, for thou hast about thee an armour that can keep thee from the arrows of death, a wedding garment that makes thee fit to sit down at the banquet of the Lord. Thou hast about thee a royal robe that makes thee a fit companion even for Jesus, the King of kings, when he shall admit thee into his secret chambers, and permit thee to hold holy and close fellowship with him. I cannot resist quoting that verse of the hymn: “With his spotless vesture on, Holy as the Holy One.” That is the sum and substance of it all. And on this bed let us take our rest, and during this week let us make Christ’s work our only garment, and we shall find it long enough, and broad enough, for us to wrap ourselves up in it. Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 19). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications. Prayer
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