Sir Robert and good works

Before I say anything else, I want to give you this link from Blue Crab Boulevard concerning a new replica Viking ship that recently made its trial run. Why news outlets waste time on Middle East wars when they could be covering really important events like this, I’m at a loss to understand.

In the Comments yesterday, I said I’d write a little more about Sir Robert Anderson, the English Secret Service official, Scotland Yard commander, lay preacher and amateur theologian.

I wanted to tell you a story he told that I read some years back (in Decision Magazine, I think). I can’t find it online, so I’ll retell it from memory. I always thought it was neatly put (unfortunately you’ll be getting my words, not his).

Sir Robert recalled a visit to his office by a wealthy woman. She confided to him that she was unable to feel secure in her salvation. She felt that God demanded something more from her in payment for her sins.

“You already do many good works,” he said. “I’ve been told that you frequently host meals for the poor.”

She admitted that she did that.

“Do the poor pay you for these meals?”

“No. Of course not. They have no money to pay.”

“But surely they have something! They could give you the clothes they wear, for instance.”

The woman laughed. “If you were to see the filthy rags those people wear,” she said, “you’d know that I wouldn’t ever even want them.”

“And that is precisely how it is with God!” said Sir Robert. “The Bible says that all our righteousness is as filthy rags to Him. He does not want your filthy rags of good works in payment for His forgiveness. His forgiveness is already paid for out of His infinite abundance in Christ.”

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