Read: John 14:1-10
Our teacher now turns to another element of our faith in the Holy Spirit: “Secondly, that He is also given me, to make me, by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all His benefits.”
This statement is cast in the form of a very personal confession: He is given to me; He makes me partaker of Christ’s benefits. What a confession this is! It seems almost to be too bold on the part of the one making it. And there are those voices that insist that it is too bold a statement to make. Yet, our teacher insists that we make it. I possess the Holy Spirit in my heart. By His work I am partaker of all Christ’s benefits.
The wonder of making this confession as one’s own comes from the fact that we make it “by a true faith.” According to the definition of faith that our teacher has taught us in Lord’s Day 7, faith believes all that God reveals in his word. That faith therefore, believes that Christ suffered and died, rose again as the eternal Son of God, ascended into heaven and is exalted at God’s right hand, and pours out the Holy Spirit on his church.
But then, Lord’s Day 7 makes this faith a personal faith: It is “an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel in my heart, that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin . . .”
Did you notice the personal element that is included in faith? The true faith of the believer always makes it possible for him to make all the truth of Scripture his own personal possession.
First of all, that faith, so personal, is a gift of God worked in us by the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:8).
Secondly, that faith is given as a gracious gift. I do not exercise it by my own power. I do not accept Christ as my personal Savior. I do not make my choice to be one with Christ. Faith is given.
Thirdly, that faith unites us to Christ as a branch is united to a tree by grafting. We are, says our teacher in Lord’s Day 7, engrafted into Christ by a true and living faith. That means that we are now one with Christ, a member of his body. We become one flesh just as man and woman become one flesh in marriage (Eph 5:30-32).
And finally, that means that all the blessings of salvation Christ earned on the cross become my possession – as they become the possession of every believer.
That faith, a gift of God and worked by the Holy Spirit, becomes active in my life through the preaching of the gospel. The believer reaches out to Christ. He abandons his works as hopeless and useless. He sees himself as the sinner he truly is. Faith drives him to the cross to cling to Christ.
That faith is worked by the Holy Spirit.
Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)
Ordained: October 1955
Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965
Emeritus: 2001Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Prof._Herman_Hanko
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