The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
First, His restraining grace. Why, if it were not for this, God's people would be just as weak and wicked as other folks are. Secondly, there is convicting grace, which from the Lord Jesus Christ acts every day and hour. A man may speak to the ear, but it is the Spirit of God alone can speak to the heart. What does Jesus Christ do in temptations, trials, and afflictions? He fetches His people home, and convinces them that they have done amiss. Thirdly, there is the converting grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is a most excellent prayer in our commination office, "Turn us, O good Lord, and we shall be turned." We can no more turn our hearts than we can turn the world upside down; it is the Redeemer, by His Spirit, must take away the heart of stone, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit give us a heart of flesh. Then there is establishing grace. David prays, "Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me." In the margin it is "constant spirit"; and you hear of some that are rooted and grounded in the love of God, and the apostle prays that they may always abound in the work of the Lord. Again, it is good to have the heart established with grace. There is a good many people have some religion in them, but they are not established. Hence they are mere weather-cocks, turned about by every wind of doctrine. What think you of the Redeemer's comforting grace? Oh, what can you do without it? "In the multitude of my thoughts within me," says the psalmist, "Thy comforts have refreshed my soul." And there are so many afflictions and trials, that if it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ's comfortings, no flesh could bear them. In a word, what think you of the quickening grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Remember David says, "Quicken me according to Thy word, quicken me in Thy way, quicken me in Thy righteousness." God's people want quickening every day; this is trimming our lamps, girding up the loins of our minds, stirring up the gift of God that is in us. It is just with a soul as it is with the plants and trees; how would it be with them if the Lord did not command quickening life to them after the winter? The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with His people in prayer. Who can pray without grace? The grace of God is with His people in His providence. "Oh," says Bishop Hall, "a little aid is not enough for me." My going on the waters puts me in mind of what I have seen many times. If the sailors perceive a storm coming, they do not choose to speak to the passengers for fear of frightening them; they will go quietly on deck, and give orders for proper care to be taken; and if a sailor can tell of storms approaching by the clouds, why cannot God's people tell why God does so and so with them? The people of God eye Him in His providence; the very hairs of their heads are all numbered, and the grace of God is with them in the common business of life. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is with His people when sick and when dying. Oh, what shall we do when death comes? What a mercy it is that we have got a good Master to carry us through that time!
(G. Whitefield, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.