28th December 2020
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
Not only did Paul “commend” the church at Ephesus “to God,” but he commended them also in an especial manner “to the word of his grace.” There is a difference between “grace” and “the word of his grace.” Nothing but grace can save the soul; nothing but superabounding grace can blot out and hide from the view of justice our aggravated iniquities. But “the word of his grace” is that word which brings this grace into the heart, which communicates life and power to the soul, which the Spirit by his inward teaching and testimony seals on the conscience, and by which he reveals and sheds abroad that favour of which he testifies. This is what the Lord’s people want. It is “the word of grace” that reaches their soul. It is not reading of grace in God’s word that brings peace into their hearts; it is “the word of his grace,” when he is pleased to speak that word with a divine power to their souls, that brings salvation with it.
Now, the Lord’s people are continually in those trying states and circumstances, out of which nothing can deliver them but “the word of God’s grace.” If the soul have to pass through severe trials, it is not hearing of grace that can deliver it out of them. If it be beset with powerful temptations, it is not reading about grace that can break them to pieces. But “the word of his grace,” when the Lord himself is pleased to speak with his own blessed lips, and apply some promise with his own divine power, supports under trial, delivers from temptation, breaks snares to pieces, makes crooked things straight and rough places plain, brings the prisoner out of the prison-house, and takes off the yoke by reason of the anointing.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869