Monday, October 11, 2010

Philippians 1:2

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

"Grace to you."

Donald Grey Barnhouse writes, "Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace."

John Owen talks about the Father’s special gift to us, his primary way of relating to us, as fatherly love. The Spirit’s special gift to us is comfort, which takes many forms, and the Son’s special gift to us is grace. J. I. Packer explains Owen, writing that the Son’s “special gift to us is grace--communicated free favour, and all the spiritual benefits which flow from it. All grace is found in him, and is received by receiving him.”

Owen himself writes:

“There is no man whatever that hath any want in reference unto the things of God, but Christ will be unto him that which he wants…. Is he dead? Christ is life. Is he weak? Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Hath he the sense of guilt upon him? Christ is complete righteousness…. Many poor creatures are sensible of their wants, but know not where their remedy lies. Indeed, whether it be life or light, power or joy, all is wrapped up in him.”

We sing to the Lord Jesus, “you are my all in all.” Surely Christ is my sufficiency. Surely I can never go wrong in clinging to him, and I risk much when I don’t.

(Barnhouse quotation from Charles R. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening 8. Packer quotation and Owen quotation both from J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life 205.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Praise The Lord!

Dear Kent, Truly total service to Him brings great Joy in God, which is in part, human from the standpoints of mind and emotion; and for believers it is supernatural. God is love; and there is natural joy in love divine as well as human love and compassion, without question.
* Nehemiah said (8:10) “The JOY of the LORD is our strength!”
* The apostle, Paul, found this to be so when he wrote about sensing the power of God in 2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10:
* “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
* Samson joyfully served Christ as a judge over Israel when he felt and desired the Holy Spirit’s strength (Judges 16:28).
* The unborn fetus, John the Baptist, felt it when he lept for joy in his mother, Elizabeth’s womb: Luke 1:44-45 “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
* The fruit of the Spirit includes joy in all believers, which is supernatural That cannot be realized apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit in the soul: Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” People can imitate some of the fruit of the Holy Spirit; but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is of His life and, therefore, divine.
* Christ knew His Father’s joy, except on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46); because He Who knew no sin, became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). And before Calvary Thus, Christ prayed: John 17:13 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”
* God, the Father, has always lived with it: Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
* The world NEVER knows it: Jeremiah 16:5 “I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity from this [sinful] people," declares the LORD.
Isaiah 57:21 “’There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked.’” --Dad