7. A DEVOTED PERSON REV. 1:4 part 7
God The Spirit
THE MESSENGER John
THE MEETINGS to the seven churches, which are in Asia
GOD THE SOVEREIGN grace and peace, from Him, which is,
and which was, and which is to come;
THE MASTER and (grace and peace)
GOD THE SPIRIT from the seven Spirits which are before His throne
There are twenty-seven books in the New Testament; nineteen are started with the phrase, grace and peace. The usual order is grace and peace from God the Father and Jesus.
Revelation 1:4 is the only place where grace and peace is declared from the trinity. Here and only here is grace and peace extended from the Spirit in this unique image of the symbol “seven”. We need the grace and peace of the plentitude (full abundance) of the Spirit.
We constantly need reminders of grace. We have an ingrained propensity to drift from dependence on grace from God.
God’s grace shows us our inadequacy, our incompetence, our inability and our ineptitude. This is the way to understanding of what is adequate, what is appropriate and what is abundant and acceptable. It’s grace; this is what we’re to grow in, in knowing Jesus and in depending on His Spirit.
And He keeps saying, “My grace is sufficient for you.” “My grace” is identical with “My power”, and “My power is perfected in weakness”. We are to pray for this new perspective, a revolutionary perception, that “the eyes of our understanding…would be enlightened,” “to know the greatness of His mighty power” and this is “being strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner person”
This power, this grace, “is perfected in weakness.” This is its unflawed occasion, its ideal opportunity, its sharpest, and most striking break. In our humiliating weakness we have a demonstration of the Spirits grace and power. The Spirits unique ability is carved against the backdrop of human inability.
We easily decline into a regression. We attempt to earn by human performance some credit for ourselves. But grace strips away where we are defiant. Grace shreds all self-determined, unyielding and obstinate self-centric pride. God resists our pride. Our life with no grace is like rain dripping off a cold statue. Grace won’t penetrate the bust of a lifeless figurine. Only a humbled, helpless heart is pierced with the Spirit of life with reviving grace.
Andrew Murray writes: “only the soul lying humbly before God is immersed—and even swims—in a sea of grace. So while there is always “greater grace,” it is reserved for the lowly—the humble in heart. Humility is the only soil in which the graces root. The lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure”.
Humility is our crying, in our destitute need from within. To walk in the Spirit in dependence and trust we need to know the Spirit.
William MacDonald writes…Think of it—the mighty God opposed to our pride and determined to break it, contrasted with the mighty God powerless to resist a broken and contrite heart!
We cry in humility…remove my “thorn” Jesus says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.
An admission of our poverty is our constant need.
Murray writes: Our weakness is the fertile soil for God’s grace to grow richly. Grace is not some abstract concept to be learned but is the Spirit’s power for supernatural living!
THERE ARE SEVEN EXPRESSIONS OF THE SPIRIT who pours on us grace
1. The Spirit of Grace Heb. 10:29…and has done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?
To do despite is to despise, insult, ridicule and mock. When we scorn the Spirit of grace we undervalue our need of Him. This is something we do not in words but by a pattern of refusals in our life.
In one country, there is a crucifix, which was used by the government in days of persecution. It was placed on the ground, and everybody had to tread on the face of the Crucified. Those who rejected Jesus did not hesitate to tread on His face; the true believers refused and were killed. The story goes that the face of Jesus was worn down and marred by people trampling on it.
2. The Spirit of Life Ro 8:2 for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.
The law (principle) of the Spirit of life is as Phillips translates: A THE ETERNAL STRENGTH OF SCRIPTURE PSALM 119:90 GOD’S FAITHFULNESS http://wp.me/p1af9o-bunew spiritual principle of life “in” Christ that lifts us out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.
John Phillips writes: Picture a coin falling toward the ground under the influence of the law of gravity. In itself, that coin is powerless to overcome the downward pull of this earth. It is in its very nature to fall. But before it has gone far, someone reaches out an arm, holds the coin firmly in his hand, and then lifts it higher and higher in defiance of the law of gravity.
The law of the Spirit of life in that person’s arm overcomes the law of gravity. This doesn’t mean that the original law ceases to operate, but it means that a higher law has come into force.
We sin by nature because we are victims of the fall and because it is the nature of fallen humanity to sin. But “in Christ Jesus” a higher law operates, “the law of the Spirit of life”; and this law sets us free from the lesser law of sin and death. The limitation of the coin illustration, of course, lies in the fact that the coin has no will of its own, whereas we do. It is possible for us to fail to enjoy release from the control of sin by not humbly yielding our will to the grace of the Spirit of life.
3. The Spirit of Adoption Ro 8:15 for we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Adoption means we’ve been place into God’s family by God’s Spirit with full legal rights as an adult child.
W. E. Vine writes: The cry, “Abba, Father,” is the cry of an infant, the simple, helpless utterance of unreasoning trust, the effect of feeling, rather than knowledge. It is an Aramaic word (cf. English ‘papa’). ‘Father’ (Greek and Latin pater) is not a translation of ‘Abba.’ It is another mode of address. It is relationship intelligently realized by the one who utters it, a word of familial confidence, communion and obedience, answering to, and expressing, the enjoyment of the satisfying love of God the Father. The two expressions together, “Abba, Father’ indicate the love and intelligent trust of the child.
4. The Spirit’s Leading Rom. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The Spirit guides us to cooperate. As we trust Him, and relax in His grace, He directs us. There is a profusion of opinion as to how He chaperons us to His ways of direction. Limiting Him with our novel ideas is restrictive and obstructive. The reality is that He is unlimited in His means.
To be called a child of God as a family member is by the new birth. This is one of the “musts” of Jesus. You must be born again. He must be lifted up. He must increase and we must decrease. We must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. He must work the works of He that sent Him, and He must rise again.
The Spirit has placed all who are born again into full civil status of adult son-ship. Its one thing to be placed into this position and it is another thing to cooperate as adult mature sons and daughters. To be led of the Spirit is our responding in cooperation to Him.
The Israeli’s were given the Promised Land. Initially they recoiled at advancing into this territory because they viewed taking possession as a gigantic challenge. This decision to hold back catapulted them into forty years of wandering in a wasteland.
When they finally followed Joshua in they were reminded of the promise that the land was their possession. There was an additional caveat, every place they put the soles of there feet would be there possession.
It is one thing to have everything and another thing to lay claim by possessing and appropriating. When we our led by the Spirit, we are showing, by yielding that we are mature. It is not that we have more of the Spirit. It is that the Spirit has more of us. When we let the Spirit have His way in us we are placing our foot into his promised land.
5. The Spirit of Truth John 16:13 the Spirit of Truth…will guide you into all truth: for…and he will show you things to come.
The Spirit reproves us, He reminds us and He reveals things to us. We have a responsibility of research by reading His truth. Can He reprove us outside of the Word of God? Yes, correction can come in many forms. But I’d prefer to research His Word and seek to reason with Him in the corrective process. He implores, come let us reason together says the Lord. He’s in need of no adjustment where we have a need of radical adjustment.
The other issue is that if we haven’t availed ourselves of the advantage of literary contributions in His Word then there’s nothing of mental content to remind us of.
6. The Spirit of Glory 1Pe 4:14 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; the Spirit of Glory & of God rests on you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
Its natural to feel an aversion to reproach. There’s a distasteful antipathy to feeling the sting of criticism.
Bill MacDonald writes about the Spirit of Glory.
Real “suffering is a true indication that the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us. This is the Holy Spirit who rests upon persecuted Christians as the glory cloud rested on the tabernacle in the OT, indicating the presence of God”.
7. The Spirit of Help Ro 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning, which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Because we are weak we need the Spirit of grace. Zech. 12:10 promises that God will “pour out…the spirit of grace and of supplications”
Rom. 8:26 describes our condition as a disorder of multiple infirmities. We are frail and saturated with problems and
“We know not what we should pray for as we should”
God’s Spirit is passionate in praying our specific needs. “The Spirit makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered” “Groaning’s” show the feeling, depth, sensitivity, seriousness and intensity of these prayers. The Spirit helps us pray. God’s Spirit feels our heartache and pours in the comfort of grace in our weakness.
God searches our hearts and He knows what the mind of the Spirit is. God knows everything that is in our heart and this is grace and peace from the Spirit.