Monday, June 13, 2011

The Connection Between Grace and the Holy Spirit

Reflecting on the Holy Spirit and Grace       by Bob Hoekstra

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication." (Zechariah 12:10)
Let's take a reflective look at our meditations on the Holy Spirit as a reminder that we are still studying about the grace of God. In considering how to live by the fullness of the Spirit, we have examined how to live more fully by the grace of God.

In Zechariah 4:6, we observed the connection between living by the Spirit and living by the grace of God: "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit." Serving the Lord is accomplished by the work of the Spirit in and through our lives, not by natural capabilities. The next verse restates this truth in terms of God's grace. "And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of 'Grace, grace to it'!" Every completed task in the service of God is accomplished by His grace (God's undeserved resources), not by our ingenuity or merit.

We also saw how the early church experienced this relationship between the Spirit and grace. "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness…And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:31, 33). The boldness they experienced through the Holy Spirit is described as a result of great grace at work upon them.

Jesus came to establish a new covenant. "This cup is the new covenant in My blood" (Luke 22:20). This covenant was characterized by grace, in contrast to the old covenant that Moses set in place. "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). This new covenant of grace is also a covenant of the Spirit. "Our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).

When the Lord Jesus returns and Israel humbly bows to Him as their Messiah, this wondrous response will be the result of "the Spirit of grace" being poured out upon them. This glorious title, identifying grace with the Holy Spirit, beautifully sums up the grand truth that living by grace and walking in the Spirit are two perspectives on the same precious reality.

                                                                             Bob Hoekstra

I really enjoyed reading this about how grace and the Holy Spirit are interwoven.

The wonderful goal of the cross and resurrection - having the very life of God to be within us by the Holy Spirit -  is a grace-gift.  The Holy Spirit is freely given to us without our earning or deserving.

The Holy Spirit ministers the New Covenant of grace to us.  He always relates toward us in grace.  He pours the unconditional love of God into our hearts.  He doesn't point out our sin but instead convinces us of our righteousness in Christ.

His way is never the way of law but always the way of grace.  He doesn't require from without; He gives godly desires from within.  Thus He moves us to live a life of love by motivating us through grace and freedom, not compulsion.

He even bears the fruit of righteousness in our lives, doing what we couldn't do on our own.  From first to last, our Christian life is a product of the work of the Spirit of God in and through us!

He is grace in a Person!  How wonderful that the blessed Spirit within us in this New Covenant is Grace Himself!


May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14