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God’s Grace reaches down to the lowest depths of our need and meets all the exigencies[urgent needs] of the moral and spiritual impossibility which inheres in our depravity and inability. And that grace is the grace of regeneration.

God effects a change which is radical and all-pervasive, a change which cannot be explained in term of any combination, permutation, or accumulation of human resources, a change which is nothing less than a new creation by him who calls the things that be not as though they were, who spake and it was done, who commanded and it stood fast. This, in a word, is regeneration.

-John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: , 1955), 96.

Take aways from this and the last post:

1. We should never over look God’s regenerative work in our lives. We are sinful and dependent upon Christ’s righteousness for acceptance every moment of our lives. Yet, we are to rejoice in God’s present work in our lives. He is working and it is real.

2. We are not to be downcast about our condition. Sin in us, as believers, is pervasive. And in this we mourn. But the new birth of the Spirit and all the sovereign, transformative power He wields is just as pervasive! We are new in Christ Jesus and there is nothing to be downcast about that!

3. There is no sin which is out of the Spirit’s reach. His effect upon the believer is all pervasive. No sin is to far away. No action is totally removed from His holy influence. Never think you are beyond His transformative work.

4. We should declare the goodness the Spirit’s works in us and others. Christians can be good because they are indwelt with the Spirit who is good. His works do become manifest in the believer. And it is actually the believer. The Spirit does not shut the person down and perform the good works. The person, being recreated by the Spirit, produces the good works. And it is praise to the Lord to proclaim His works.

BibleOnPulpit

When we come to hear the sermon or take up Holy Scripture to read it, let us not have this foolish presumption of thinking that we shall easily understand by our own wit everything that is said to us and we read; but let us come with reverence waiting entirely on God, well aware that we have need to be taught by his Holy Spirit, and that without that we can in no way understand what is shown us in his Word.

-John Calvin, Commenting on 1 Timothy 3:9. Quoted in Peter Adam, Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 1996), 144.

God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:7

“We must think of suffering in a new way, we must face everything in a new way.  And the way in which we face it all is by reminding ourselves that the Holy Spirit is in us.  There is the future, there is the high calling, there is the persecution, there is the opposition, there is the enemy.  I see it all.  I must admit also that I am weak, that I lack the necessary powers and propensities.  But instead of stopping there . . . I say, ‘But the Spirit of God is in me.  God has given me his Holy Spirit.’ . . . What matters . . . is not what is true of us but what is true of Him.”

-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression (Grand Rapids, 1965), page 100.

HT: Ray Ortlund

The Spirit’s infinite holiness gives Him such a view of the misery of an unholy soul, as makes Him yearn with compassionate love over such; His infinite holiness makes Him long to see them delivered from their sin, and made holy as He is holy. Holy love yearns over the unholy. Holy love longs to save the lost. Holy love strives to deliver the unholy from the awful misery of a sinful state, and to replace them in the blessedness of a divine purity, and the perfect image of God.

~Horatius Bonar, The Love of the Spirit, quoted in Christ Is All: The Piety of Horatius Bonar, 176.

“Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from His fruit, and no effective witness without His power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the Spirit is dead.”

–John Stott, The Message of Acts, Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 60.

HT: Tolle Lege

So let us pray for a greater outpouring of the Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is no mere mechanical agent in the great work of a sinner’s deliverance. ‘I delight to do Your will’ is as true of the Spirit as the Son.

He loves the sinner; therefore He lays hold of him. He pities his misery; therefore He stretches out the hand of help. He has no pleasure in his death; therefore He puts forth His saving power. He is longsuffering and patient; therefore He strives with him day by day; and though ‘vexed,’ ‘resisted,’ ‘grieved,’ and ‘quenched,’ He refuses to retire from, or give up, any sinner on this side of eternity.

The extent to which we resist Him, and the amount of His forbearing love, we cannot know. This only we may say, that our stubbornness is something infinitely fearful and malignant, while His patient grace passes all understanding.

—Horatius Bonar, “The Holy Spirit”

HT: Of First Importance

Francis Schaeffer once asked his wife:

“Edith, I wonder what would happen to most churches and Christian work if we awakened tomorrow, and everything concerning the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, and everything concerning prayer, were removed from the Bible. I don’t mean just ignored, but actually cut out—disappeared. I wonder how much difference it would make?” We concluded it would not make much difference in many board meetings, committee meetings, decisions and activities.

—Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer (Waco: Word, 1981), 356.

HT: Justin Taylor

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