The Riches of His Grace (continued)
God's Work of Grace (continued)
This was the verdict of an infinitely perfect God Who is so meticulous, Who is so exacting, Who will never pass anything that is imperfect. When He has finished it all, He puts man right into the middle of it, and says: "There you are, that is your inheritance, your inheritance is what I have already done. What you have come into, is not something that you have got to make, but what I have already made. Not what you have to do, but what I have already done. You begin your vocation in gratitude where I end My work on your behalf."
You can clearly see the corresponding truth in the New Creation where it is not working unto something, but it is working after everything has been done. You and I come unto God's perfect work. Of course, the simple form of preaching the gospel is to speak about "the finished work of Christ," but do we understand these glib phrases? All that God has done in and through and by His Son Jesus Christ in the perfecting of salvation, of redemption, of His work is so that the reception of His Son back into heaven is complete. And that reception of His Son is simply because God has nothing more to do so far as providing the ground of His work is concerned. The Lord Jesus could never have gone back to heaven unless the work was full and final and perfect. If there had been one further touch or stroke, He would not have gone back. They would not have received Him in heaven. If we may so speak, they would have said, "Look here, You have left something undone." "I have not found Thy works perfect before My God." And He would have had to come back again, but He did not. God had in Him perfected and finished His New Creation.
And then He began with us, to bring us into it, and say, "Look here, you have not got to work unto this, you have got to inherit the New Creation, take possession of it, and live in the good of it and learn to understand what you have got and appreciate it." These are the works of God. They are finished so far as the Lord Jesus is concerned - The works of grace.
If that garden and that first material creation is something grand, beautiful and glorious from the hand of God, and wholly satisfies His heart, then His Son is more than that. More than a symbolic creation, an earthly thing, His Son is the final fullness of perfection. He gives us His Son! Perhaps you and I have not fully grasped that, and this is where we are in so much trouble, dear friends. There is no doubt about it. I would go so far as to say that nine-tenths of our spiritual troubles are here, because we are listening all the time to the accuser and the condemner.
When things go hard, get difficult, and go contrary and against us, then the devil is saying, 'It is because of something about you, your demerit, something is wrong with you.' And you go and plead with the Lord, and say, 'Lord, what is it that you have got against me?' You spend your hours pleading with God to show you what He has got against you, and why your circumstances are the way they are, and what the thing is that He has got against you that is resulting in His dealings with you in this way.
It is just here that the enemy is turning us aside from this work of grace. But why was a work of grace going to be done? And we will come to that presently, but it was done in order to conform us, to change us. We are not now under judgement and condemnation. We are under grace! And satan will never cease in this life to try and undercut grace and bring us back under law and to bondage. But you and I really do need to grasp and believe the unsearchable riches of His grace.
God's work is completed for us to inherit. There will be a battle, a tremendous battle, as there was with Israel in the land after they crossed the Jordan and got through the death of Calvary, the battle in the land is to get the possession of our inheritance. It is so familiar that before ever we get a foothold, the Lord has said, "I have given you the inheritance." "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it" (Joshua 1:3). It is secured in Christ for us.
Now, then, I must leave this for the present. Although these are truths with which we are so familiar, I think the great truth remains. You and I as the Lord's Own people, beloved by Him, you and I have got to learn more and more deeply the meaning of this first thing - the grace of God. We must learn what grace really is and what grace really means. Whital we must learn how deep, how vast, how unfathomable and unsearchable are what the Word calls, "the riches of His grace."
(continued with # 6 - (The Spirit of Grace)