Today's Foundations Devotional: God’s grace is sovereign

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Memory verse:

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the

Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:2)

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We have outlined the six successive steps to receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit: 1) repentance; 2) being baptised; 3) being thirsty; 4) asking; 5) drinking – that is, actively receiving; 6) yielding – that is, surrendering control of our physical members apart from the exercise of our intellectual understanding.

The question will naturally arise: Is it necessarily true that every person who receives the gift of the Holy Spirit has completely followed through all six steps?

The answer to this question is no. God’s grace is sovereign. Wherever God sees fit, He is free to reach out in grace to needy souls beyond the conditions set forth in His Word. God’s grace is not limited by the conditions He imposes. But, on the other hand, wherever those conditions are fully met, God’s faithfulness will never withhold the blessing He has promised.

Of the steps just outlined, some are omitted by people who nevertheless do receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In particular, the gift of the Holy Spirit is at times granted to people who have not been baptised and who have never specifically asked God for this gift.

This happened in my own experience. I received the gift of the Holy Spirit before I was baptised and without ever specifically asking for it. In these two points, God reached out to me in His free and sovereign grace beyond the conditions actually imposed in His Word. I realise, however, that this now makes me just so much the more a debtor to God’s grace. It certainly opens no door to me for pride, carelessness or disobedience.

It would seem, however, that God never bestows the gift of the Holy Spirit where the other four conditions are not fulfilled. That is, God never bestows the Holy Spirit where there is not first of all repentance and then a spiritual thirst and willingness both to receive and to yield.

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Prayer:

Father, thank You for Your work in My life and my heart constantly

continuing through Your Holy Spirit. I praise You that I may drink from

the living water of Your Spirit to become completely full of Yourself.

Thank You Lord! Amen.

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