October 3—Morning Devotion
“Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and, upon all them that believe; for there is no difference.”—Romans 3:22
Here, my soul, is a morning portion for thee! Surely here is enough for a morning portion for poor believing souls to live upon to all eternity. Mark, my soul, what is here said. That righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, which he wrought out for his church, is the righteousness of God: for, as he was God as well as man, his righteousness was, to all intents and purposes, the righteousness of God. Now the sin of Adam, and the sins of all Adam’s children, put the whole together, form but the sins of creatures; consequently the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is more than an equivalent, a more full payment than their debt can demand, because it is the righteousness of the Creator. Sweet thought! for God is more honoured by Christ’s obedience, than dishonoured by our disobedience. And observe, my soul, how this righteousness is the church of Christ’s, namely, by faith; “it is unto all, and upon all them that believe.” It is received by faith. The scripture language of this unspeakable mercy is, that as it was imputed to Abraham for righteousness, so it shall be imputed unto us also, if we believe on Him that raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead. This is another delightful portion of this precious verse. Neither is this all-for, as if to encourage the poorest, weakest, and most timid believer, this righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all that believe, “hath no difference” in its blessed effect. All partakers of it are alike partakers. By him, that is by Christ, the scripture saith, “all that believe are justified from all things.” Acts xiii. 39. So that, though the faith of an Abraham or of a Peter might have been vastly greater than that of the timid Ananias, or the poor man that came to Christ for his son, saying, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief;” yet the justification by Christ, to all, is one and the same-“it is to all, and upon all that believe; for there is no difference.” Oh precious righteousness of the God-man Christ Jesus.
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:
“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."