For years now I have been warning myself and others, that there is far too much emphasis among this present generation of Christians about spiritual disciplines. The very phrase, “a means of grace” is an oxymoron of the worst order, as it describes a walk with Christ that is anti New Testament. There is no such thing as a means of grace.
One puritan was dead on target when he prayed,
“…Satan and my natural abilities content me with a little light, so that I seek no further for the Spirit of life. Teach me what to do. Should I merely humble myself and not stir up my heart? Should I meditate and use all means to bring him near, not being contented by one means, but trust him to give me a blessing by the use of all, depending only upon, and waiting always for Thy light, by use of means? Is it my duty or an error to pray and look for the fullness of the Spirit in me. Am I mistaken in feeling I am empty of the Spirit when all the time I am most empty and could be more full by faith in Christ? …Teach me to find and know fullness of the Spirit only in Jesus.
CHRIST ALONE IS THE ONLY MEANS OF GOD’S GRACE
Self attainment is no joke; it keeps Jesus from us. Pride was the means by which Satan fell from God’s loving power and sovereignty. Pride is the means of our fall from grace. Grace is always unconditional, undeserved, and a free gift of God. It is never received on the basis of merit. For by grace we have been saved, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God and not as a result of works.
The person who recognizes his need of God has already received grace from God. However, what we do with that recognition is the question? Do we by some further means within ourselves make God come near? Or do we live by faith alone? Jesus said it this way,
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13
However, how do we ask? Do we ask as if we deserve to receive Him, or do we ask in humility, broken, and empty. James said it this way,
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:8-10
If ever a generation needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit it is this one. Today the average church member doesn’t even know how to worship. The morning service that is meant to be a worship gathering for God’s sake has turned into a rock concert meant to please men.
God help us! O’ God arise and awaken your people to your holiness and all- sufficiency. Allow us to see Jesus as all we need and apart from Him we can do nothing.