Every blessing which befalls the children of GOD is the result of HIS grace and is in no wise conditioned by the activity of those so blessed. The sons of GOD walk in obedience because HE works in them both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure. They desire to follow HIM because HE makes HIS people willing in the day of HIS power. They pray because HE sends HIS SPIRIT to elicit that yearning. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:26) They mourn for their sin because HE convinces them of “sin, righteousness, and judgement.” (see John 16:8) These are but a few of those “gifts” which CHRIST has purchased for HIS bride. HE bestows them upon her out of HIS vast storehouse which cannot be exhausted. HE alone has the Key and the power to unlock that chest of treasures which are HIS.
It was the LORD who moved Habakkuk to cry out to HIM, saying “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Hab 3:2) It was this same SPIRIT that prompted the Psalmist’s longings, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” (Psa 63:1-2) It sometimes pleases the LORD to hide HIMSELF from HIS bride, that she might learn to value HIS presence more highly. Left to herself she will be satisfied with the husks which the swine feed upon and will find it a burden to stir herself from her bed of slumber. “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” (Song 5:2-6)
Thus, it is out of their poverty that the LORD is pleased to call unto those whom HE loves. There is no good thing that dwells in any of them and apart from HIS mercy to keep them from falling they would surely abandon HIM. Yet HE remains faithful. Just as Lot was vexed with the unrighteousness that surrounded him in Sodom, so too are the sons of GOD perplexed as the LORD is pleased to grieve them with the same. Complacency is rooted in our flesh and it is quite the evidence of HIS mercy bestowed when men cry out to HIM on account of their own wickedness and that with which they are daily surrounded and afflicted in mind and soul.
The true repentance of the sons of GOD, mourning for their sin and the uncleanness of their flesh is that which is the gift of GOD. This is that “repentance not to be repented of“ mentioned by Paul to the Corinthians. This “gift” is prophesied by Zechariah, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zec 12:10) And we see the same demonstrated in the book of Acts. “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31)
So, the sons of GOD have been made “partakers of the inheritance of the saints.” A man cannot gain an inheritance of any kind except it be bestowed upon him. Men cannot earn an inheritance nor be worthy of it, since that ONE from whom he receives the inheritance is the ONE who labored to gain that which is bequeathed. Such is the gift of salvation bestowed upon the saints, through the labors of HIM who bore their griefs and carried their sorrows.
This is an “inheritance” “in LIGHT”. Paul says, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col 1:13) There can be no greater contrast than that which exists between darkness and LIGHT. To be without CHRIST is to be without LIGHT. There can be no fellowship (i.e.; interaction or companionship) between “darkness” and “LIGHT”. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2Cor 6:14) “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:5-7)
The sons of GOD are made to enjoy HIS blessings as they are illuminated by the gospel of the glory of the blessed GOD. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2Tim 1:9-10) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor 4:6)
The appointment of the sons of GOD unto salvation is set by HIM before the foundation of the world, but their “illumination” takes place in the present time for this is the “day of SALVATION”. The gift of “hearing” is granted unto all of those who are granted the gift of FAITH and it is as they “hear” (how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom 10:14)) the gospel that they are “reconciled unto GOD”. To be “reconciled” unto HIM is the work of HIS SPIRIT in bringing them to repentance. By HIS grace they throw down their arms of rebellion and cry out to HIM for mercy.
It is then that HOPE is wrought within their breast as they see (by the gift of FAITH) HIS suffering, death, and resurrection as more than simple facts, but rather the only grounds upon which they expect to be brought into the presence of a HOLY GOD. Paul recounts the beginnings of his journey from darkness to LIGHT: “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 22:6-7) Thus repentance was granted unto him. He was already aware of the crucifixion of CHRIST but it was as HE was brought face to face with the ONE who was crucified that he believed and was baptized calling upon HIS NAME. This was no random occurrence which took place on that Damascus road but was the result of a DIVINE appointment which he could not escape. So too is the deliverance of every one of those vessels of honor chosen by GOD to be the inheritors of HIS promise. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” (1Cor 4:7) “we have redemption through HIS blood.” Have you seen the LIGHT?