Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 3 - The Spirit's Revelation of Grace - 30 Days of Grace

Grace is the Father's heart toward us, and grace happened when Jesus worked on our behalf to make us rich...but what about the Holy Spirit?  How is the Holy Spirit involved in the ministry of grace to us, and how does the Holy Spirit demonstrate what grace is?

7..We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

1 Co. 2:7-13

What does this passage tell me about the work the apostle Paul (the speaker here) is doing?  His work is to declare God's wisdom, a mystery once hidden but now revealed.  How does the passage describe the greatness of this mystery?  It tells me that it's so wonderful, no mind has ever imagined the greatness of it, so beautiful that if Satan and his demons had known about it, they wouldn't have crucified Christ, because the crucifixion brought the whole mystery/plan to manifestation!  

What is this mystery?  It is the things God has prepared for those who love Him!  It is the gifts God wants to bestow on us!  The passage says the mystery was hidden.  Is it hidden any longer?  NO!  This passage tells us a main reason the Holy Spirit is given to us - what is it?  He reveals the things God has for us, the gifts He gives, this mystery that is a wonderful gift given to us by God!  He is sent to us to share God's heart with us and show us how generous and loving and gracious He is, that He would give us some wonderful things!  The Holy Spirit reveals these things to us and brings us to understand what God has freely given us.  That's the whole message that Paul declares - He declares this spiritual reality that he understood from the Holy Spirit, declaring the mystery now revealed of all the wonderful things God has freely given us!

A big word standing out to me that shows me more of the definition of grace here is the word 'freely.'  God has freely given us gifts.  Freely means without charge or payment required.  There are no stipulations or requirements to be met on our part.  A gift is just plain free.  So this tells me that God's grace has to do with gifts He gives for free, with no strings attached.  Nothing is required on my part.  I do not have to 'do' anything to qualify to get these things.  They are gifts.  And they are emphasized to be free.  Grace stresses the freeness of God's giving, that He gives just because of His heart of love, not because we've earned it somehow.

What does this passage say about the Holy Spirit's work of grace?  It shows me that the Holy Spirit's part is to reveal God's grace and gifts of grace to us.  He sees into God's heart and knows the deep things there, the deep love and kindness and goodness, the plans for a future and a hope, the marvelous gifts He has for us that no mind could ever imagine or conceive.  And then He shares God's gracious heart with us and reveals to us all the gifts He's given us through Jesus' work.

So I can sum up these thoughts by saying that grace is the Father's heart and nature - He is gracious.  And this graciousness moves Him to give us gifts and bless us, all of us, without distinction.  So He has a plan to give us wonderful gifts and make us rich, actually, and Jesus is the One who brings this about through His work - He does it, He works out the process of bringing the gift to mankind, without our initiation or works.  And then the Holy Spirit reveals to us and makes us understand what God has freely given us through Christ's work - He reveals what is freely given, without our having to qualify in some way.

So grace has to do with God blessing humanity out of His loving heart toward us, blessing us through Jesus' work to bring the blessing/gift to pass in our lives, and then He sends the Spirit to us to reveal the blessing/gift to us!  What is this gift that is so wonderful that no human mind could conceive?  Let's talk about that next, so we can unwrap and enjoy this gift of grace that God has freely and lovingly given us through Jesus! 

Prayer:  Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for Your work in me to share with me the things God has freely given me.  Make me to understand all that God has given me. Thank You!  In Jesus' name, amen.

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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