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7.25.2009

The means of grace


What are the means of grace?

Is wearing a suit and tie one of the means of grace?

Are academic conferences a means of grace?

Is ritual?

Writing books?

Rightly so engaging the Word of God is a means of grace. Why is that? Because the Holy Spirit resides in the Word of God. It is a lively, quickening language. It potentially cuts your soul away from the spirit of the devil and connects you with the Spirit of Christ.

What else is a means of grace?

Rightly so being in a state of worship of God is a means of grace. An eschatological state, being awake now in the moment. "I am here," say the Old Testament saints, when in the presence of God. "Here I am." In real time. For duration, depth, and frequency. In the fear of God only, and not man. The fear of man makes one asleep.

What else?

Be awake and love thy enemies. Love thy enemies. Is this a means of grace? "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Grace is something we can have in degree. Like the Holy Spirit. If we accumulate grace and the Spirit by being awake and watchful and in a state of worship of God we certainly also preserve or contain it by loving our enemies. Loving our enemies standing for the transformation of any kind of resentment for gratitude.

Only Jesus was given the Spirit 'without measure.' No human being but Jesus, the God-man, could handle having the Holy Spirit within him without measure. When we get more than we can handle we 'grieve' the Spirit. Our Old Man, our vanity, worldly pride, and rebellious self-will, asserts himself, and gratitude is far from our minds and feelings as resentment and self-justification take the reins. Then the battle is on. To extend our limits we must provoke our limits.

Certainly not easy to do. Certainly not at first especially.

And certainly this is a far distance from dead ritual. Is it taught in Scripture? Of course it is. It is taught in the words of Jesus Himself.

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