The Rt. Rev. Daniel Morse: “The Mighty Power that Creates and Sustains Faith”
Somehow I do not seem to have encountered sermons by the Rt. Rev. Daniel Morse of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the past. Surely I would have remembered sermons like his The Mighty Power that Creates and Sustains Faith, based on Ephesians 1:19-23, for this sermon makes a comparison often forgotten today–that the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the power that causes us to be regenerated from the spiritual death of sin:
In examining the wonderful picture before us, we begin with Christ in the grave, by noticing that it was in Christ’s case a real death. Those loving hands have taken him down from the cross. Tenderly the women have wrapped him about with spices and fine linen, and now he is about to be put into the tomb. He is assuredly dead. The heart has been pierced; blood and water have both freely flowed. Lift up the pierced hand and it falls at once to his side. The foot has no power of motion. Take up the corpse, and put it into the tomb—this is no trance, but most certainly death.
So is it with us; by nature we are really dead. We were dead in trespasses and sins. Try to stir the unconverted man to spiritual action, and you cannot do it. Lift up his hand to good works, he has no power to perform them. Try to make the feet run in the ways of righteousness; they will not move an inch. The fact is that the heart is dead. The living pulse of spiritual life has long ago ceased. The man is absolutely and entirely dead as to anything like spiritual life. There he lays in the grave of his corruption, unless God is gracious.
You see the parallel holds. We, too, in the same manner as Christ was raised from the dead, have been made to live in newness of life, even as the Master himself said, “As the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will.”