Written in 2014 at the age of 75, recorded in 2021 at the age of 82, this song expresses the powerful work of God through many years to bring me into fellowship with Him as our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. There is truly a joy and wonder of His life at work in us.
Tag: born of the Spirit
Grace Greater Than Any Sin
In 1911, Julia H. Johnston wrote the text of the hymn Marvelous Grace (Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sin).
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
The emphasis of grace is taken from the text of Romans 5:20b.
“but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,”
The apostle Paul, in writing to the church in Rome, compares the sin of man (which we inherited from the first man, Adam) to the grace of God (which is His means for our salvation through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ (the second Adam).
Grace exceeds but is not excessive; no more than is needed. None is wasted. Grace wins over any sin of His children, overcoming sin and revealing His grace through us to others.
As I have sung this hymn through my childhood and into my adult life, in relation to Paul’s letter, God has revealed the power of His grace as paramount to the power of sin in my life. The truth of His grace to related to our own sins, and the sins of all believers (vs. 4).
This past week, He has shown me something even greater.
Grace Greater Thank Any Sin or Circumstance
What place does grace play in our relationships to other people, believers and unbelievers?
If His grace exceeds our sin and our guilt; if the blood of the Lamb was spilled; if His grace pardons and cleanses us within, what happens to this grace when someone sins against us, hurts or disappoints us?
Do we forfeit His grace when someone offends us?
Or does this same grace ~ grace that is greater than all our sin ~ remain strong and prove to be greater than anything man can do to us?
If a wealthy man meets a poor man, does the poor man, through his status, take away his wealth?
A wealthy man does not change. He may, in generosity, offer the poor man money, food, or whatever he needs, but the poor man has no power to make him poor.
In the same way, we who are born of the Spirit of God’s grace, made rich in heavenly blessings, do not give up our status as God’s children by allowing the person who offends us to take away our grace. Rather, we respond to those who offend us, or who sin against us, by remembering who we are, in Christ. We, in grace, forgive, pray for them, bless them as we would our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and return good for evil (Romans 12:21). Grace abounds through us, even beyond the sin of unbelievers.
Grace That is Sufficient for All Things
Paul also speaks of grace that is sufficient in weakness and infirmities. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
This is the amazing, marvelous, infinite, matchless grace of our loving Lord living and reigning within us. God’s grace rules and wins over all else.
Gracious, heavenly Father, whose love for us exceeds our expectations, and whose grace is greater than our greatest sins, continue to show the extent of your love and grace through us to others, even when they offend or betray us. Make our relationships and our circumstances the means of revealing your greatness and power in all things. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This life is a calling to something higher.
God created us for LIFE with Him ~ a spiritual LIFE ~ an eternal LIFE, apart from the physical life we are now living.
For this LIFE, God is redeeming a people for Himself, in the sacrificial work of His Son Jesus Christ, through the power of His Holy Spirit.
Just as God, through Moses, brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt to a land He had prepared for them, He sent Jesus, His Son, to deliver us from the bondage of sin and rebellion, with the promise of eternity with Him.
Since Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He now rules at the right hand of the Father, sending the Holy Spirit to bring this LIFE to His people.
The FATHER finished His work of CREATION.
JESUS, the SON, finished His work of REDEMPTION.
His HOLY SPIRIT is now doing His work to give us this LIFE,
separating His people from the power of Satan, sin, self, and the world,
and preparing us for this eternal LIFE with the FATHER and the SON.
“Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable,
undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you,
who by God’s power are being guarded
through faith for a salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5
Here is a double promise in Simon Peter’s words.
It is not only by God’s power that the inheritance of eternal LIFE is being kept in heaven for us, but we are being kept through faith to receive this inheritance. No one can take it from us, or keep us from receiving what He has willed for us for eternity.
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:”
1 Peter 1:2
In light of the work of Christ, the promises, and this high, heavenly and holy calling, He is preparing us in this life for eternity with Him.
There is no other purpose for physical life than this: preparation and conforming us to the image of Christ, so as to be compatible to share His glory.
His bride (His people) must be ready (Ephesians 5:26-27). It is during this preparation that we get a glimpse of the glory which is prepared for us. His love goes deeper, and our hearts grow fonder as He draws us to Himself.
The nearer we come to the end of this life, the more we anticipate this consummation and eternity with our Lord. Nothing in this life will ever compare to what He has planned for us. We have but to meditate on His promises and imagine this LIFE with Him. I am reminded of the story of Esther’s preparation to become Queen. The King offered her half his kingdom. We are promised the Father’s whole kingdom, as joint heirs with His Son.
“The first man Adam became a living being”;
the last Adam became a LIFE-giving spirit.”
1 Corinthians 15:45
Love, joy and peace are just a sample of the LIFE Jesus came to give through His Spirit. We, who now live on earth, are in the preface of eternity. God’s children are born, sealed, live, led, walk in, and bear the fruit of His Spirit, and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as He prepares us to share His glory. Every phase and every stage of this life, with every episode and event, is part of this preparation, all for His glory and our joy (Romans 8:28-29).
Gracious Father, we are not worthy, but we praise you for this new life in Christ, revealed to us in your Word by the power of your Holy Spirit. We praise you for keeping us by the same power to live now, in preparation and anticipation of eternity with you. Let love, joy and peace and the other fruit of the Spirit be evidence that we belong to you, now and forever. Let us sanctify you in our hearts, and expect others to ask us what is our hope and joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Suggested reading: GOD is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan For HIs People
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
The Spirit of Contentment
As we begin this chapter we want to remember the three main things that pertain to contentment.
1. Divine Contentment is supernatural, possible only for God’s people.
2. It is the result of a relationship between God and His children.
3. He teaches us how He works contentment in us.
From the first point, we consider contentment to be of a different realm than the natural.
It is a divine working of God’s own kingdom here on earth as He is preparing us for eternity with Him.
It is established by the will of the Father for His children through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is a relationship brought about by the revelation and fulfillment of the power of His Holy Spirit.
We have looked at Contentment with God Our Father, Contentment in Jesus Christ, The Reason and Season for Contentment, and The Center of Contentment, all relating to the expectation and anticipation of contentment in this life.
Again, all is based, not on our own working, but on the promises of God’s Word as revealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21).
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We look now at the power of the Holy Spirit that makes what the Father and the Son willed and accomplished for us a reality.
How did we come to hear and to know God? How did we first believe?
How do we continue to believe when others scoff and ridicule the truths of God’s Word and His kingdom?
How can we be content in this life without all that the world offers?
How do we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, while others seek happiness and contentment in material possessions or human relationships?
This contentment is a heavenly mind-set of those who have been born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8).
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; His life by the power of His Spirit in us.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (See 2 Corinthians 6-16)
From the beginning of time, the Holy Spirit has been working to bring light into our darkness, to reveal the will and the work of the Father in His children.
This Spirit of contentment is the same as the power that raised Jesus from the dead; the same power that “made alive in Christ” those who were dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-5).
Paul prayed for the early Christians to know of their inheritance in Christ; “and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 1:19-20
“that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” Ephesians 3:16
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’s Working
In many of Paul’s letters He makes reference to the three persons of the Trinity.
” being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:11-14
The Things of the Spirit
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
If you are in Christ and Christ in you, you have been bought with the blood of Christ. Your body is the temple of His Holy spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24
Contentment is for those who are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18); for those who walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and for those who live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Who is not content who bears the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)?
Dear Gracious and Holy Father, who has created us and redeemed us by revealing the good news of Christ and bringing us to Him according to your will, we thank you and praise you for your mercy, and for your grace. Your work of love and compassion has restored us to a right relationship with you, and made possible the freedom in Christ that brings contentment. Continue to teach us from your Word, and by your Holy Spirit write your promises on our hearts and minds. Enable us to crucify the desires and passions of the flesh that we may bear the fruit of the Spirit of Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
See the following posts, beginning with How the Holy Spirit Works.
There were too many references of the Holy Spirit for us to include in this post. What is your favorite that we did not use?