The Epistle – March 2024

From the Word

“But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

We don’t like to admit that there are things we can’t do.  Human nature calls us to brag about the things we are good at, but to remain eerily silent about the things we are not.  Christians have to fight against this natural tendency in living humble lives.  Jesus is an example to us of humility, and by His grace we show His humility.

While humility is difficult, surrendering to the notion of our inability is another.  While admitting the limitations is difficult, it pales by comparison to admitting our complete inability to save ourselves from sin.  Most heresy in Church history concerns some form of participation in salvation.  Our nature cries out in outrage at the notion that we cannot do anything to save ourselves, or even to help ourselves along the way of salvation. 

Jesus came here to do what we could not.  Scripture is clear that we cannot, and must not try to, participate in our own salvation.  The Gospels are clear evidence by telling us what Jesus did completely alone.  The Epistles affirm that we are saved by God’s grace alone, without works playing any part (see Ephesians 2:1-10).  Isaiah 53 tells of God’s plan of salvation through the Suffering Servant.  The Servant does everything and we do nothing.  It is only by the grace of God’s Holy Spirit that we believe this truth, then embrace it.  It is liberation beyond comprehension.  It is the reason we can live in confidence that our sins are forgiven, and that we are citizens of heaven.  Our confidence is in the fact that it is all Him, and in no part us.  We cling, by faith to all that God has done for us in Jesus and joyfully sing the prayer of Pastor Paul Gerhardt .  

Your cords of love, my Savior;
Bind me to You forever,
I am no longer mine.
To You I gladly tender
All that my life can render
And all I have to You resign.  Amen.