May 9 – LD 19, Day 3: The Exalted Christ gives us Heavenly Graces
by Rev J. Kortering

John 10:28, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Once more we quickly glance at the catechism itself. The question is asked, “What profit is the glory of Christ, our Head, unto us? The answer, “First, that by His Holy Spirit, He pours out heavenly graces upon us His members.”

Because the Head rules the body, the direct benefit we receive from our exalted Head in heaven, is that He gives us HEAVENLY graces as members of His body. Do take note also, that He gives them to us “by His Holy Spirit”. 

We are reminded of the beauty of this on the first Pentecost. The disciples were afraid, confused, uncertain of their future, and certainly bewildered about what the purpose of Christ’s ministry on earth really was. This all changed when Christ poured upon them heavenly graces through the presence of His Holy Spirit. They became clear in their understanding of the truth, the gospel message burned in their hearts, they possessed boldness to speak it, they loved one another and reached out to others to draw them into their fellowship. That very day, 5000 souls were added to the church. The heavenly graces abounded.

It is no less different today.

From the text quoted above, the greatest heavenly gift which Christ promised to give to His disciples was “eternal life”. Once they received it, they could not perish because no man could pluck them out of Christ’s hand.

Yes, there are many gifts which Christ bestows upon His body, the church. Eph 4:8 quotes Psa 68:18a, “Wherefore he saith, WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN.”  The preceding context mentions, “lowliness and meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” vs2,3. The following verses mention the gifts of office, “apostles…prophets…evangelists…pastors and teachers,” vs.11.                  

Central to all of them is the gift of faith and salvation.

No man can acquire this for himself, only Christ can give it to him from heaven. “And I give unto them eternal life;” John 10:28.

Christ gives faith in the way of repentance from sin and believing in Him as the only way of salvation.

It is wonderful to confess such faith.