[Articles 9-18]

Personal Religion

A. Its Commencement (Articles 9-14)

9. Original or Birth-sin 
Original sin is not found merely in the following of Adam's example (as the Pelagians foolishly say). It is rather to be seen in the fault and corruption which is found in the nature of every person who is naturally descended from Adam. The consequence of this is that man is far gone from his original state of righteousness. In his own nature he is predisposed to evil, the sinful nature in man always desiring to behave in a manner contrary to the Spirit. In every person born into this world there is fund this predisposition which rightly deserves God's anger and condemnation. This infection within man's nature persists even within those who are regenerate. This desire of the sinful nature, which in Greek is called fronema sarkos and is variously translated the wisdom or sensuality or affection or desire of the sinful nature, is not under control of God's law. Although there is no condemnation for those that believe and are baptized, nevertheless the apostle states that any such desire is sinful. 

10. Free Will 
The condition of man since the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works for faith and for calling upon the name of the Lord. Hence we have no power to do good works which are pleasing and acceptable to God, unless the grace of God through Christ goes before us so that we may have a good will, and continues to work with us after we are given that good will. 

11. The justification of man 
We are accounted righteous before God solely on account of the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through faith and not on account of our own good works or of what we deserve. Consequently the teaching that we are justified by faith alone is a most wholesome and comforting doctrine. This is taught more fully in the homily on Justification. 

12. Good works 
Although good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow on after justification, can never atone for our sins or face the strict justice of God's judgment, they are nevertheless pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ and necessarily spring from a true and living faith. Thus a living faith is as plainly known by its good works as a tree is known by its fruit. 

13. Works before justification 
Works done before receiving the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit are not pleasing to God. This is because they do not spring out of faith in Jesus Christ. Nor do they make people fit to receive grace or (as the schoolmen say) to deserve grace of congruity. On the contrary, because they are not done as God has willed and commanded that they should be done, it is undoubtedly the case that they have the nature of sin. 

14. Works of supererogation 
The concept of voluntary works besides, over and above God's commandments, which are sometimes called works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogance and impiety. By them men do declare not only that they render to God their proper duty but that they actually do more than their duty. But Christ says: 'So you also, when you after done everything you were told to do, should say, "We are unprofitable servants." 

B. Its Course (15-18) 

15. Of Christ alone without sin 
Christ, who truly took our human nature, was made like us in every respect except that of sin. From this he was clearly free in both body and spirit. He came to be the Lamb without blemish who, by the sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world. Sin, as St. John says, was not in him. But all the rest of us, even though baptized and born again in Christ, still offend in many ways. if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 

16. Sin after baptism 
Not every sin knowingly committed after baptism is sin against the Holy Spirit and unforgivable. Therefore the gift of repentance is not to be declared impossible for those who fall into sin after baptism. After we have received the Holy Spirit we may depart from the grace given to us and fall into sin, and we may also by the grace of God return and amend our lives. therefore those who say that they are incapable of sinning any more in this life are to be condemned, as are those who deny the opportunity of forgiveness to those who truly repent. 

17. Predestination and election 
Predestination to life is the eternal purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he has consistently decreed by his counsel which is hidden from us to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he has chosen in Christ out of mankind and to bring them through Christ to eternal salvation as vessels made for honor. Hence those granted such an excellent benefit by God are called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working at the appropriate time. By grace they obey the calling; they are freely justified, are made sons of God by adoption, are made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, they walk faithfully in good works and at the last by God's mercy attain eternal happiness. 

The reverent consideration of this subject of predestination and of our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and inexpressible comfort to the godly and to those who feel within themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, putting to death the deeds of the sinful and earthly nature and lifting their minds up to high and heavenly things. This consideration establishes and confirms their belief in the eternal salvation o be enjoyed through Christ and kindles a fervent love towards God. But for inquisitive and unspiritual persons who lack the Spirit of Christ to have the sentence of God's predestination continually before their eyes is a dangerous snare which the devil uses to drive them either into desperation or into recklessly immoral living (a state no less perilous than desperation). Furthermore we need to receive God's promises in the manner in which they are generally set out to us in holy Scripture, and in our actions we need to follow that will of God which is clearly declared to us in the Word of God. 

18. Obtaining salvation only by the name of Christ 
Those who presume to say that every person shall be saved by the rule of life, religion, or sect that he professes, provided he makes diligent efforts to live by that rule and the light of nature, must be regarded as accursed. For holy Scripture declares to us that it is only in the name of Jesus Christ that men must be saved.

Quote for today

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter v. 8

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About Oru Diocese

Oru Diocese is located geographically in Imo West Senatorial
Zone of Imo State, Nigeria, comprising Oru East and Oru West

The diocese of Oru is a rural diocese undergoing rapid development.
There are presently six Archdeaconries in the diocese.

This site is an information powerhouse on the activities of the diocese.
As you go through our pages and commit your life to the service of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the almighty God will wet your grounds with His blessings.

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