Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday in Pentecost 8: A holy calling will not save an unholy man

Opening Sentence
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in you sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Collect of the Day: Independence Day (USA)
Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of The United States of America won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 119:145-176

Lessons: Numbers 22:41-23:12Romans 7:13-25Matthew 21:33-46

If we will be divines only in tongues and title, and have not the divine image upon our souls, nor give up ourselves to the divine honor and will, no wonder if we be separated from the divine presence, and denied the fruition of God for ever. Believe it, sirs, God is no respecter of persons: he saveth not men for their coats or callings; a holy calling will not save an unholy man. If you stand at the door of the kingdom of grace, to light others in, and will not go in yourselves, when you are burnt to the snuff, you will go out with a stink, and shall knock in vain at the gates of glory, that would not enter at the door of grace. You shall then find that your lamps should have had the oil of grace as well as of ministerial gifts; of holiness as well as of doctrine, if you would have had a part in the glory which you preached. Do I need to tell you that preachers of the gospel must be judged by the gospel; and stand at the same bar, and be sentenced on the same terms, and dealt with as severely as any other men? Can you think to be saved then by your clergy; and to come off by a legit ut clericus, when there is wanting the credidit ex vixit ut Christianus? Alas, it will not be; you know it will not! Take heed therefore to yourselves for your own sakes; seeing you have souls to save or lose as well as others.

Richard Baxter

God of our Fathers