Daily Devotionals

Devotional: May 28th

Morning Devotional

Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. - John 1:16.

OBSERVE here the peculiarity of this reception:-“and grace for grace.” No expression perhaps has given rise to a greater variety of opinion than this. It would only be wasting our time and perplexing our minds to regard all the readings given. But we may observe several things. First, Correspondence. “Grace for grace” means grace in us for grace in him, for there is a resemblance. As in wax the impression left by the seal corresponds with itself, so it is here. He is called “the light of the world,” and his people are called “the lights of the world.” He is the Son of God, and they are called “sons of God.” What is this but to intimate that they are of one mind with him? and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” The expression also includes substitution. Thus “grace for grace” means grace of one kind for grace of another, the grace of one dispensation for the grace of another.

There was grace under the law, but that was mixed with severity and shadows: they received the first-fruits, we have the harvest; they had a few drops, we have the whole shower; thus we have grace for grace,-the grace of reality for the grace of types,- the grace of substance for the grace of shadows.

And this substitution may be exemplified, not only as to dispensation, but also to exchange. Take Paul for an example. Paul prayed for deliverance from the thorn in the flesh. This was denied; but God assured him that his grace was sufficient for him. Here was “grace for grace.” The grace of consolation for the grace of deliverance,-the grace of support instead of exemption. Christians pray that their trials may be diminished; but instead of this their strength is increased, while their trials remain.

The expression includes variety. “Grace for grace” means, not grace of one kind only, but grace of all kinds. Believers are not only pardoned, but sanctified; and in vain would they receive the remission of sins, if left without renovation. Without this we could not have been happy nor able to serve God and hold communion with him. Hence it would be vain to have the grace of knowledge without the grace of obedience, since, says St. Paul, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” Suppose after we have travelled far in the way we should perish near home: we need therefore not only the grace of commencement, but the grace of perseverance; and he giveth more grace. Where he hath begun the good work, he will perform it to the day of Jesus Christ.

Also, It means abundance. “Grace for grace” means much grace, or, as it is said in the beginning of the Acts, “Great grace was upon them all.” Christians not only have strength, but they “wax stronger and stronger;” they are not only renewed, but are “renewed from day to day.” Here we have one degree of grace for another, a higher for a lower, an enlarged degree of grace for a more contracted degree.

Evening Devotional

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. - Titus 2:13-14.

HERE we are taught what believers are to expect, and what they are to acknowledge. It teaches us what to expect. This hope does not mean the grace of hope, but the object of hope. Observe its residence. It is said to be in another place, “laid up for us in heaven.” It is described by its attribute, “blessed,” and it may well be called “that blessed hope;” for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And it is also described by the season when it is to be attained; “at the appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” This season is mentioned because it will then be accomplished.

The intermediate state is not denied, or overlooked, or undervalued by the Apostle, here or elsewhere, but he leads forward very naturally the minds of Christians to the consummation of the whole in the adoption: that is to say, the redemption of the body, when the flesh, which has slept in hope, shall be awakened; when this “vile body” will be changed, and fashioned like the Saviour’s own glorious body; when the number of the redeemed will be complete, as well as their persons, and the whole of them entered into the joy of their Lord.

It also teaches believers what they are to acknowledge, for their religion is not a future existence only. No, they can look backward as well as forward; we are to acknowledge that he gave himself not only to us but for us. That is, to be poor, to be persecuted and oppressed, to suffer and to die, and not to be a martyr only, but to be a Redeemer; not only to redeem them from the guilt, and the curse, and the horrible consequences of our manifold iniquity, but as we are defiled, as well as guilty, and stand in need of renovation as well as pardon, “to purify them unto himself “by the agency of the Holy Spirit, that they might be “a peculiar people;” whose peculiarity should not consist in notions, in opinions, in the shape of a garment, in the use of a pronoun, or in a dissent from the ancient established customs and manners of the community in which they live; but a practical peculiarity and dissent from the Spirit and maxims and cares of the world-“a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

These are the glorious truths that feed and nourish our experience and practice. Under the influence of these principles may we live, and in the enjoyment of them die.

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