Growing in Grace Studies: The Way of Restoration

Theology Girl Studies

GROWING IN GRACE STUDIES
Blogging with TheologyGirl & ReformedWomen
Fall 2009
BOOK: The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray

4.  THE WAY OF RESTORATION–HOW IS THAT TO BE BROUGHT ABOUT?

   We all know the parable of the prodigal son and how many sermons have  been preached about repentance, from that parable. We are told that “he  came to himself and said, I will arise and go to my father, and will   say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight.”   In preaching, we speak of this as the first step in a changed life–as    conversion, as repentance, confession, returning to God. But, as this  is the first step for the prodigal, we must remember that this is also  the step to be taken by His erring children–by all the ninety-nine  “who need no repentance,” or think they do not. Those Christians who do not understand how wrong their low religious life is must be taught that this is sin–unbelief; and that it is as necessary that theyshould be brought to repentance as the prodigal. You have heard a great deal of preaching repentance to the unconverted;  but I want to try to preach it to God’s children. We have a picture of so many of God’s children in that elder brother. What the father told him, to bring about a consideration of the love that He bore him, just as he loved the prodigal brother, thus does God tell to us in our contentedness with such a low life: –“You must repent and believe that I love you, and all that I have is thine.” He says, “By your unbelief, you have dishonoured me, living for ten, twenty, or thirty years, and never believing what it was to live in the blessedness of My love. You must confess the wrong you have done Me in this, and be broken down in contrition of heart just as truly as the prodigal.”

There are many children of God who need to confess, that though they are His children, they have never believed that God’s promises are  true, that He is willing to fill their hearts all the day long with His  blessed presence. Have you believed this? If you have not, all our  teaching will be of no profit to you. Will you not say, “By the help of  God, I will begin now a new life of faith, and will not rest until I  know what such a life means. I will believe that I am every moment in  the Father’s presence, and all that He has is mine?”

May the Lord God work this conviction in the hearts of all cold  believers. Have you ever heard the expression, “a conviction for  sanctification?” You know, the unconverted man needs a conviction  before conversion. So does the dark-minded Christian need conviction before, and in order for sanctification, before he comes to a real  insight to spiritual blessedness. He must be convicted a second time because of his sinful life of doubt, and temper, and unlovingness. He  must be broken down under that conviction; then there is hope for him.   May the Father of mercy grant all such that deep contrition, so that  they may be led into the blessedness of His presence, and enjoy the fullness of His power and love!

Next week:  III. CARNAL OR SPIRITUAL?

Advertisements

4 comments on “Growing in Grace Studies: The Way of Restoration

  1. Pingback: Growing in Grace Studies: The Way of Restoration « ReformedWomen

  2. A great chapter. We do insult God when we doubt his love, and live like spiritual orphans. What greater proof can we have of his love in that He has given us His Son to pay the price for our sin.
    I am convicted of not confidently claiming God’s love and how I have still doubted even though He has given me all things richly to enjoy.
    Something I think we needed to read over many times.

  3. As I considered this week’s lesson, I was reminded again of our need for continual repentance, confession and renewal on a daily basis. How often do we go from Sunday to Sunday before these things take place? Far too often I am afraid. We become complacent in our individual “seeking Christ first” in obedience to His command to “pray without ceasing” “come boldly before His throne to find grace in time of need” and “when you have done all that you are commanded to do, you are still unprofitable sinners.” In other words, we need daily repentance and confession and the attributes that reflect that we are in fact in soul, body and mind, children of God, heirs of our Heavenly Father and His Kingdom and walking in truth as Christ followers living a life that is pleasing in His sight. Sons and daughters of God need His presence and grace day-by-day and this lesson reminds us not to take for granted His goodness but to be of humble heart and mind that we are still needy children for His graces.

  4. How appropriate is this puritan prayer:
    “Continual Repentance
    O God of grace, Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute, and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness. I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for thou dost always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, Father, forgive me, and thou art always bringing forth the best robe. Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun. Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.” _Valley of Vision

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s