As the ointment that was poured upon Aaron ran down to 'the skirts of his garment,' so the weakest Christian is established with grace by Christ. Grace runs from the Head to the poorest member, 'the hem of the garment.' Every one that even touches Christ, draws virtue and strength from him.
What are the virtues of this ointment?
1. It has a cherishing power; it revives the drooping soul, and cheers a fainting spirit. When men are ready to sink under the burden of their sins, this eases them.
2. Anointing has a strengthening power. It makes our limbs vigorous. Grace fortifies the soul. Our life is a combating life with Satan, and temptations of all sorts; therefore we need continual anointing to make us nimble and active in resisting our enemy. Oil has a suppling quality; so the Spirit of God makes pliable the joints of the soul. It supports us with hidden strength, and enables us to encounter great oppositions, and to be victorious through Christ over all. Grace is little in quantity, but it is mighty in operation. It carries the soul through difficulties; nothing can stand in the way of a gracious man, no, not the gates of hell. The spirit of grace that is in a Christian is stronger than he that is in the world. 'A grain of mustard seed,' the very least measure of true. holiness, is stronger than the greatest measure of opposition. A Christian's strength lies out of himself. He never over comes by his own power: 'He can do all things through Christ assisting him,' Philip, 4:13. ' Otherwise he is a most impotent creature, unable to do or suffer anything, ready to give over at the least trouble, and sink under every pressure of affliction.
3. Ointment does excellently delight and refresh our spirits; as we see the box in the gospel, when it was opened, the whole house smelled of it, John 12:3. Grace is a wondrous sweet thing. Before we are anointed with the Spirit of Christ, with establishing grace, what are we but a company of nasty, abominable persons in the eyes of God? That which makes a man sweet is grace. By nature we are noisome and offensive in the nostrils of Almighty God but his grace in Christ makes us pleasant and amiable to him.. A wicked man is a vile man, an ulcerous, deformed creature but grace is of a healing nature.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Anointed with the Spirit of Grace (Richard Sibbes)
Here's some Sibbes from his sermon "Yes and Amen"