The Spirit of Grace
Romans 11:33; Ephesians 3:8
We begin again, with the Lord's help, with "The unsearchable riches of Christ." Having noted that this word "riches" is linked with a number of things in the New Testament, we have commenced our meditation with the first of these connections, "the riches of His grace." We have said a little about the basic character of grace. Something about the works of grace and the works of law, and we have gone on to look at God's work of grace, of His finishing His work for man before ever man comes into the picture at all and is then called into the work which God has finished. This is the grace of God.
Now, for a few minutes, let us look at the free action of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of grace. You know, do you not, that the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Grace? (Hebrews 10:29). What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace? It simply means that the Holy Spirit is that Spirit of grace which came from God and is freely given to us through faith. Again, here is the Grace of God. We shall never earn nor merit the Holy Spirit. He is freely given to faith. Although it may sound like repetition and laboring the point, I do want that we should be impressed with this: that the Holy Spirit is given freely as the Spirit of Grace. He is the One Who brings to us from God all that Grace means. If we have the Holy Spirit in possession, indwelling, we have in Himself, in His very Person and Presence all that Divine Grace means. He is That Spirit of Grace.
Now, with Him, we have the free action of God. The Bible begins in a very simple way, so simple that you hardly notice it. It is something written, something set down, and you read it and you hardly know or notice what you have read. 'Now the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the deep,' on on you go. What was there in that condition of things to merit the Presence and action of the Holy Spirit? The initiative was all with the Spirit of God over against a set of conditions utterly contrary to Himself. Yet this brooding was a very active thing, a very energetic thing, a very purposeful thing; in a word, the Spirit of God brooding, hovering over that state of things was the Presence of God to change the whole situation, because God wanted it changed. That was all. He just wanted it changed. So He took the matter in hand and there was not only the lack of merit, but plenty of demerit. We do not know, but there has been surmising, perhaps guessing, perhaps right guessing, that that state of things was due to some judgment which had come upon the creation, which we may not speculate about at all. But, nevertheless, there was a state which was altogether contrary to the mind of God and the state of things could no nothing about it for itself. It took the free action of the Holy Spirit, just the free, voluntary, unearned initiative and action of the Spirit of God to bring about a new beginning.
(continued with # 7)
[sorry this is short this morning. I have a hugely busy day ahead of me!]