A continual supply of the Spirit
‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ Hebrews 13:20–21
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Ephesians 1:15–2:10
Make you perfect in every good work. Besides his disposing and preparing us for his service, there is working in us by an immediate and effectual operation. The first is grace in habit; this second petition is grace in exercise. The instrument, though tuned, will yield no music of itself. We need a continual supply of the Spirit, without which we can do nothing—this is needful as wind to the ship, or water to the mill.
The words through Jesus Christ may be understood: (i) that he is the medium of communication of grace. Of his fullness alone can we receive. Or, (ii) that all which is wrought in us is only acceptable through him and for his sake.
From hence observe:
(i) how entirely all is of grace—that we can will and that we can do and that when we have done we can find acceptance—all is of grace.
(ii) what encouragement for those who find they have nothing and can do nothing. Here is all provided and engaged for.
(iii) how great the sin and ingratitude of those who refuse this great Shepherd and the assistance of his grace.
FOR MEDITATION: The power of grace
Happy the birth where grace presides
Thy wondering saints rejoice to see
To form the future life!
A wretch, like me, restored,
In wisdom’s paths the soul she guides,
And point, and say, ‘How changed is he,
Remote from noise and strife.
Who once defied the Lord!’
O thou whose voice the dead can raise,
Grace bid me live, and taught my tongue
And soften hearts of stone,
To aim at notes divine;
And teach the dumb to sing thy praise,
And grace accepts my feeble song,
This work is all thine own!
The glory, LORD, be thine!
SERMON SERIES: HEBREWS 13:20–21, NO. 4 [2/2]