I found this quote and wanted to share it. I’m going to wait until at least tomorrow to post who said (or wrote) it.
“From the first, faith has been God’s means of justifying men
God’s blessing must be our objective, and the way to win it our study.
Search the records of ancient times. Why was our father Abraham
blessed? Was it not because his upright and straightforward conduct
was inspired by faith? As for Isaac’s faith, it was so strong that,
assured of the outcome, he willingly allowed himself to be offered in
sacrifice. Jacob had the humility to leave his native land on account
of his brother, and go and serve Laban. He was given the twelve
tribes of Israel.
Honest reflection upon each of these examples will make us realize
the magnitude of God’s gifts. All the priests and levites who served
the altar of God were descended from Jacob. The manhood of the
Lord Jesus derived from him. Through the tribe of Judah, kings,
princes and rulers sprang from him. Nor are his other tribes without
their honor, for God promised Abraham: Your descendants shall be as
the stars of heaven.
It is obvious, therefore, that none of these owed their honor and
exaltation to themselves, or to their own labors, or to their deeds of
virtue. No; they owed everything to God’s will. So likewise with us,
who by his will are called in Christ Jesus. We are not justified by our
wisdom, intelligence, piety, or by any action of ours, however holy,
but by faith, the one means by which God has justified men from
the beginning. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
What must we do then, brothers? Give up good works? Stop
practicing Christian love? God forbid! We must be ready and eager
for every opportunity to do good, and put our whole heart into it.
Even the Creator and Lord of the universe rejoices in his works. By
his supreme power he set the heavens in their place; by his infinite
wisdom he gave them their order. He separated the land from the
waters surrounding it and made his own will its firm foundation.
By his command he brought to life the beasts that roam the earth.
He created the sea and all its living creatures, and then by his power
set bounds to it. Finally, with his own holy and undefiled hands, he
formed man, the highest and most intelligent of his creatures, the
copy of his own image. Let us make man, God said, in our image and
likeness. And God made man, male and female he made them. Then,
when he had finished making all his creatures, God gave them his
approval and blessing: Increase and multiply, he charged them.
We must recognize, therefore, that all upright men have been graced
by good works, and that even the Lord himself took delight in the
glory his works gave him. This should inspire us with a resolute
determination to do his will and make us put our whole strength
into the work of living a Christian life.”