The miserable dregs of self

(J. C. Philpot, "Meditations on Matters
 of Christian Faith & Experience")

"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He
 has made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephes. 1:6

We are ever looking for something in self to make
ourselves acceptable to God, and are often sadly
cast down and discouraged when we cannot find . . .
  that holiness,
  that obedience,
  that calm submission to the will of God,
  that serenity of soul,
  that spirituality and heavenly-mindedness
which we believe to be acceptable in His sight. Our . . .
  crooked tempers,
  fretful, peevish minds,
  rebellious thoughts,
  coldness,
  barrenness,
  alienation from good,
  headlong proneness to ill,
with the daily feeling that we get no better but rather
worse, make us think that God views us just as we view
ourselves. And this brings on great darkness of mind
and bondage of spirit, and we seem to lose sight of
our acceptance in Christ, and get into the miserable
dregs of self
, almost ready to quarrel with God because
we are so vile, and only get worse as we get older.

Now the more we get into these dregs of self, and
the more we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of
wreck and ruin which our heart presents to daily view,
the farther do we get from the grace of the gospel,
and the more do we lose sight of the only ground of
our acceptance with God. It is "in the Beloved" that
we are accepted, and not for any . . .
  good words,
  good works,
  good thoughts,
  good hearts, or
  good intentions of our own.

If our acceptance with God depended on anything in
ourselves, we would have to adopt the Wesleyan creed,
and believe we might be children of God today and
children of the devil tomorrow
.

What, then, is to keep us from sinking altogether
into despair, without hope or help? Why, a knowledge
of our acceptance "in the Beloved," independent of
everything in us, good or bad.

"Their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord."

"You are complete in Him."

What a universal chorus of harmonious voices do
we hear all sounding forth the same melodious
strain--that we are accepted in the Beloved.

"He saved us, not because of the good things
 we did, but because of His mercy." Titus 3:5




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