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December 5 Today’s Reading: Galatians 5-Ephesians 2
“By the Will of God”
As Paul was made an apostle “by the will of God,” he tells us that all who are saved are saved “by the will of God” and that all things come to pass in time “by the will of God,” the triune Jehovah, our great God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We worship the triune God (1 John 5:7); and we are saved by the work of the triune God. All three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious; and all three are involved in the salvation of our souls. This is what Paul shows us in Ephesians 1. As the three Persons of the Godhead are equal in divinity, but distinct in personality, so all three Persons in the Godhead are equal in grace, but distinct in the operations of grace.
The Father’s Work
God the Father is set before us as the Fountain of all grace (Ephesians 1:3-6). It was God the Father who in the covenant of grace proposed redemption, devised the method, and chose the people whom he would save by his almighty grace. He found a way whereby his banished ones must be brought home. Then, in the fulness of time he sent his Son into the world to be the Medium, or Mediator of grace (Galatians 4:4-6).
The Son’s Work
God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the Channel of all grace (Ephesians 1:7-12). All grace comes to sinners through Christ the Mediator. Everything God does for sinners and gives to sinners is “in Christ.” Apart from Christ there is no grace. Am I chosen of God? I am chosen in Christ. Am I blessed of God? I am blessed in Christ. Am I predestinated by God? I am predestinated to be like Christ. Am I adopted of God? I am adopted in Christ. Am I accepted of God? I am accepted in Christ. Am I redeemed by God? I am redeemed in Christ. Am I forgiven by God? I am forgiven in Christ. Do I know God? I know him in Christ. Do I have an inheritance with God? I have it in Christ. Am I called of God? I am called in Christ.
All grace comes to us through Christ! There is no other way the grace of God can reach a sinner. Let no rejecter of God’s Son imagine that he shall be the beneficiary of God’s grace. It is the work of Christ upon the cross that brought grace and justice together in the salvation of sinners. Through his blood, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10).
The Spirit’s Work
The Fountain of all grace is God the Father. The Channel of all grace is God the Son. And God the Holy Spirit is the Administrator of all grace (Ephesians 1:13-14). It is God the Holy Spirit who effectually applies the blood of Christ to God’s elect. He regenerates the dead by omnipotent power. He calls the redeemed with irresistible grace. He gives faith by almighty operations of grace. He forms Christ in us, giving us a new and righteous nature, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” He seals to God’s elect all the blessings and benefits of the covenant of grace, and seals us in the covenant, preserving all the chosen, redeemed, called ones of God unto everlasting glory.
Without the gracious operations of God the Holy Spirit in conversion, no sinner would ever become the beneficiary of grace. He takes the things of Christ and shows them to his people. He quickens those the Father chose, reclaims those the Son redeemed, and leads to the Good Shepherd all the sheep for whom he laid down his life (John 10:11).
We were saved by the purpose of God the Father in election (Romans 8:29-30; 2 Timothy 1:9). We were saved by the purchase of God the Son at Calvary (Romans 4:25; Hebrews 10:10-14). And we are saved by the power of God the Holy Spirit in the new birth (John 6:63; Ephesians 1:18-20; 2:1-4). All three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious; and all three must be praised. The work of the Father is no less and no more vital than the work of the Son and the Spirit; and the works of the Son and the Spirit are no less and no more vital than the work of the Father.
We worship and adore God the Father for his free, electing love. We worship and adore God the Son for his accomplished redemption, by which we have the forgiveness of all sin. And we worship and adore God the Spirit for his mighty operations of grace in regeneration, by which he has made us “partakers of the divine nature.” Therefore, we sing…
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!