Monday, April 3, 2017

“The Direct Correlation”

"The Direct Correlation"                       
   "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:11).

    What are the "freely given" things of God?  The answer is everything.

   "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

   Numerous other affirmations fill the pages of the New Testament regarding the abundance of grace provided to born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We live from such Divine generosity rather than working for it.  Thus, to the degree we "know the things that are freely given to us of God" will be the degree to which we experience the wonder thereof.  As the Apostle Paul declares, the Holy Spirit serves as our teacher regarding such grace, and His primary illumination involves the revelation of the person and work of Christ on our behalf.  Particularly, to the degree that the Lord Jesus suffered on our behalf directly correlates with the measure of God's generosity bestowed upon believers.  The better we understand the sacrifice of Calvary, the better we discover and avail ourselves of the supply of Christ.  

   At Calvary, God administered to the Lord Jesus everything we deserve in order to thereafter administer to us everything Christ deserves.  Our Heavenly Father imputed our sin to His Son so that He might impute His Son's righteousness to us.  "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).  The cross therefore reveals the aforementioned correlation.  How much did the Lord Jesus suffer?  Eternity will never fully reveal the truth of so great a sacrifice.  How much does God's supply?  Again, eternity will not be long enough to exhaust His provision.  Most importantly, the suffering and the supply exist as dual components of one glorious reality in Christ.  The better we know the suffering, as revealed by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, the better we will experience the supply.  The better we experience the supply, the more we fall to our faces in loving devotion as we realize the cost that makes possible the provision.

   "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).  Freely given?  Yes.  Freely received?  Yes.  However, recognition of the price paid for such grace keeps us from blithely availing ourselves of God's supply.  The Spirit of God ever works to affirm the grace given in Christ, enabling our reception and application of God's good gifts.  He also bears ongoing witness to the cross that makes possible such provision.  He teaches us the correlation, the direct correlation between the Lord's loss and our gain.  Thereby, our hearts are both humbled and encouraged.  And thereby we freely receive even as we faithfully remember that every breath and every good gift comes to us as purchased by the sorrow, suffering, and sacrifice of our blessed Savior.

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
(Romans 5:15)
"They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
(Romans 5:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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