HOW HAVE I RECEIVED CHRIST ? A short meditation

Written by, Ambrose Serle, Esq., in 1787


THE apostle says, “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

…I must therefore receive him, before I can walk in him at all. It is a matter of the deepest consequence to my soul that I should do both.”

How, then, Lord, did I receive you? Did I seek you first by my own will? Alas! I was gone out-of-the-way like all other men; I was altogether become abominable, having no will for good, but only for evil. Did I resolve to seek you by my best endeavors? I must confess, with shame and sorrow, that my resolutions were weaker to me than Samson’s bands were in his full strength to him; and that the first or the least temptation led me away. Could my sincere obedience merit your favor? I see, that if a man could sincerely obey in his natural state, but which indeed he cannot, having no love to the work, but only a slavish fear of hell; Lord, I see that your law requires, if I would be saved by your law, a sinless and perfect obedience, instead of this insincere and defective one, upon pain of my utter destruction. You have said in your word, that he who offends in one point is guilty of all, and that by the deeds of the law shall no man living be justified. How then could I, who have offended in so many points, be saved? How then did you, in your righteousness, bring me to expect salvation?

Lord, I was poor, and vile, and miserable; I was helpless, yet laden with iniquities; I was wounded, and lying in my blood; my case and condition no man knew, or, knowing it, could relieve. In the midst of my misery was the appointed moment of your mercy. Into my deepest wounds you did pour your oil and your wine. You alone cheered my heart with your free salvation. In the view of what Christ had done and suffered for poor sinners like me, and by your gracious power applying this his two-fold merit; joy and gladness came into my soul, yea, greater than any found by men of the earth, when their corn, and wine, and oil have increased.

Your Word was the instrument, and your Spirit the worker. He new-created me in Christ Jesus; he renewed me in the Spirit of my mind; he made darkness light before me, and rough places plain: By his teaching I know your truth, by his grace l enjoy it, by his power I am kept therein, and shall be kept, I trust, to the end. Lord, all the glory of conversion worked in me, and of your complete salvation worked for me, wholly belongs unto, you from beginning to end!

It was in this way I received Christ; and your word, O Lord, assures me it is the true way; because it gives to you all the glory and secures to me all the benefit. In this way of humbly receiving, I must also walk continually. I have nothing of my own but sin. You have nothing, O my Redeemer, but grace and mercy for your people. Help me to receive out of this eternal fullness grace for grace, according to my need, that I may walk unto all well pleasing, and adorn your doctrine in all things. I would love much, because much has been forgiven me. I would serve heartily, because you have kindly done great things indeed for me. I would live holily, because it is the way to your kingdom, and the very, happiness of your kingdom itself.

Let me, my Savior, be more like unto you; for, Lord, I would be yours, and only yours, forever!