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The Effects of Grace.

The Effects of Grace.

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St. Matt. vii. 20.
" By their fruits ye shall know them."

St. Matt. vii. 20.
" By their fruits ye shall know them."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 25, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE EFFECTS OF GRACE. EDITED BY REV. HERY EWLAD, St. Matt. vii. 20. " By their fruits ye shall know them." LAST Sunday our lesson was about the Gifts of God s Grace: this Sunday our lesson is about the effects which ought to follow where Grace has been bestowed. Last Sunday re presented to us man in the wilderness of this world ready to faint for want of food, and God the Son, in His compassion, first noticing the want and destitution of man, and then feeding him with spiritual nourishment. ow, therefore, man has received the food, and is strengthened for the work that lies before him. He is no more ready to faint by the way, but, in the strength of that meat which has been bestowed upon him, can go onwards towards the Mount of God. It is at this point that the Gospel for to-day 81 138 THE EFFECTS OF GRACE. takes up the description of the Churchman s state. He is to show by the way in which he lives what he has now become; what a change has passed over him. But to teach him this, a new figure is used. He is no more described as a traveller through a wilderness, but as a tree which has become good by being grafted on to a good stock. Of his own na
ture man was corrupt and bad, but he has been joined to Christ, and has "received of His fulness."* In the words of St. Paul, unre- generate man was like a " wild olive tree," but regenerate man " partakes of the root and fat ness of the olive tree ;"f draws strength and holiness into his soul from Christ, because he has been grafted into the body of His Church. He has been " now made free from sin," and is able to have his " fruit unto holiness." J It is this holiness, this pure, and devout, and loving life, this life of real obedience to God, and real love towards our neighbour; it is this which shows that God is working in us to will and to do ; it is this which will make men con fess that God is in us of a truth. " By their fruits ye shall know them." Such is the sign by which our Blessed Lord teaches us to dis cover whether a prophet, one who professes to come from God, is true or false. " Beware," * St. John, i. 16. f Romans, xi. 17. j Romans, vi. 22. THE EFFECTS OF GRACE. 139 He says, " of false prophets, which come to you in sheep s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Beware of those who claim to speak in God s name, and wear the out ward appearance of being His servants, while in reality they are only seeking their own ad vantage. "Ye shall know them by their fruits." Their lives will show whether they really come from God or not. I am not going to speak to you now about those who take upon themselves the office of teachers without having been sent by Christ. Some thing has already been said to you about them
on the second Sunday after Easter. I am now going to apply this Gospel to the case of the Churchman. He is, in one sense, " a prophet." It is his bounden duty to instruct men in the ways of God. It is his bounden duty to teach men the love of their Heavenly Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellow ship of the Holy Ghost. He is to teach men that God is reconciled to man ; that through the Atonement made by Christ our Lord, man can be cleansed from his sin; that, through the indwelling of Christ by His Spirit in his heart, man can be made holy. How is the Churchman to teach this ? By his own life. " By their fruits ye shall know them." The world will judge whether he is a true prophet 140 THE EFFECTS OF GRACE. or a false by watching his ways. When he speaks of God as his Heavenly Father, they will take notice whether he walks before God as an obedient child, not fashioning himself according to the lusts of those who are igno rant of God, but striving to be holy, as He that hath called him is holy. They will take notice whether he is loving, amiable, and gentle to wards those who are his brothers, children of God with himself; whether he forbears and forgives others as God, for Christ s sake, has forgiven him. If men see the light of the Churchman s good works thus shining before them, then they will believe the truth for which he is a witness, and will glorify his Father which is in Heaven. When the Church man professes to believe that God the Son has been made the Son of Man that we might be made the sons of God, men will watch

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