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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ # 7

The Spirit of Grace (continued)

Now, dear friends, you and I were here in such a state, and we believe that there are multitudes in that position, but as we believed, we are saved, were born a new, became children of God who would say we are a new creation in Christ? And how did it happen? Did we go up into heaven to call Him down? Did we go into the deep to bring Him up? Did we go into the uttermost parts of the earth to find Him and persuade Him? We really did nothing about it at all. We are where we are and what we are by an action of grace altogether apart from anything that we did in the matter. He did it, He did it all. We did nothing toward it, indeed our condition was all against God's thought and God's mind and yet He took the initiative and He did it by His Spirit. That is the Spirit of Grace, you see, taking things in hand to have them changed, to make a beginning in order to have things not as they were, but as God intended and intends them to be.

That is all very simple, is it not? But there is much more in that for our heart-ravishing than we are aware of, because perhaps our salvation is taken too cheaply, or taken too much for granted. It is those people who know best, more than most, what a ruin they were, what a chaos they were, what darkness they were in, what disruption there was in their lives - it is those people who know that their salvation was nothing of their doing; it was the free action of the Spirit of Grace.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit has brought God to us. He is God, and as God He has brought God to us, but what does that mean? in other words, what are the riches of His grace? Now we are going to dwell upon that in part. We will begin with another three things with which we are so familiar: The Spirit of Power, The Spirit of Wisdom, and the Spirit of Life.

1. The Spirit of Power

First of all, let us begin with the Spirit of Grace coming as God to us; He comes as the Power of God into our lives to do all that God wants done. Now that is a simple statement, I know, but He has come to do it. It is no more of ourselves to do that than it was of the first natural, material creation that brought about the change. No, it is no more of ourselves, it is the Power of God that has taken this thing up to do it. Now, is this too common place as to  evoke no response in our hearts? Are we not more and ever more aware that whatever has been done or is being done or has got to be done in our lives is by the Power of God. And what power it took what Great Power of God!

Now is there another power at work? Is darkness a power? Is it a power? Well, perhaps you have some experience as to be able to make it possible for you to say, "yes." I know that when you have got to move into this world, where the Lord is neither known nor recognized nor acknowledged, and apparently not wanted, you realize that darkness is an awful power, "darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isaiah 60:2). You see, the people are in darkness, and what can you do about it? You can talk, you can do all that is in your power, but you cannot break this dark thing until the Spirit of Power as the Spirit of Light breaks in upon that soul, on that life in that realm of darkness: it needs the Power of God because darkness is an awful power.

It is true in this side of the world where there has been so much light given and so much truth given, and there is so much Christian tradition, you just go to the other side of the world - you go to those dark places of heathendom, and you have only got to move in a country where the gospel has not touched that side of the world, and you can feel the darkness. It is evil. It is positively evil. It is like that.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 8)

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