Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.
Luke 24:45

He whom we viewed last evening as opening Scripture, we here perceive opening the understanding. In the first work he has many fellow-labourers, but in the second he stands alone; many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers; they reach the ear, but he instructs the heart; they deal with the outward letter, but he imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savour and spirit. The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by his Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible. Happy are we if we have had our understandings cleared and strengthened by the Master! How many men of profound learning are ignorant of eternal things! They know the killing letter of revelation, but its killing spirit they cannot discern;
they have a veil upon their hearts which the eyes of carnal reason cannot penetrate. Such was our case a little time ago; we who now see were once utterly blind; truth was to us as beauty in the dark, a thing unnoticed and neglected. Had it not been for the love of Jesus we should have remained to this moment in utter ignorance, for without his gracious opening of our understanding, we could no more have attained to spiritual knowledge than an infant can climb the Pyramids, or an ostrich fly up to the stars. Jesus’ College is the only one in which God’s truth can be really learned; other schools may teach us what is to be believed, but Christ’s alone can show us how to believe it. Let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and by earnest prayer call in his blessed aid that our dull wits may grow brighter, and our feeble understandings may receive heavenly things.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Soul

“But am I not to be indebted to the Holy Spirit’s work in my soul?”

“Undoubtedly; for what hope can there be for you without the
Almighty Spirit, who quickeneth the dead?”

“If so, then ought I not to wait for His impulses, and having got
them, may I not present the feelings which He has wrought in me as
reasons why I should be justified?”

“No, in no wise. You are not justified by the Spirit’s work, but by
Christ’s alone; nor are the motions of the Spirit in you the grounds
of your confidence, or the reasons for your expecting pardon from
the Judge of all. The Spirit works in you, not to prepare you for
being justified, or to make you fit for the favour of God, but to bring
you to the cross, just as you are. For the cross is the only place
where God deals in mercy with the transgressor.”

It is at the cross that we meet God in peace and receive His favour.
There we find not only the blood that washes, but the righteousness
which clothes and beautifies, so that henceforth we are treated by
God as if our own unrighteousness had passed away, and the
righteousness of His own Son were actually ours.

This is what the apostle calls “imputed” righteousness, or
righteousness so reckoned to us by God as that we are entitled to all
the blessings which that righteousness can obtain for us.

Righteousness got up by ourselves, or put into us by another, we
call infused, or imparted, or inherent righteousness; but
righteousness belonging to another reckoned to us by God as if it
were our own, we call imputed righteousness. It is of this that the
apostle speaks when he says, “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thus Christ represents us: and God deals with us as represented by
Him. Righteousness within will follow necessarily and inseparably:
but we are not to wait in order to get it before going to God for the
righteousness of His only begotten Son.

Imputed righteousness must come first. You cannot have the
righteousness within till you have the righteousness without; and to
make your own righteousness the price which you give to God for
that of His Son, is to dishonour Christ, and to deny His cross. The
Spirit’s work is not to make us holy, in order that we may be
pardoned, but to show us the cross, where the pardon is to be found
by the unholy; so that having found the pardon there, we may begin
the life of holiness to which we are called.

That which God presents to the sinner is an immediate pardon, “not
by works of righteousness which we have done,” but by the great
work of righteousness finished for us by the Substitute. Our
qualification for obtaining that righteousness is that we are
unrighteous, just as the sick man’s qualification for the physician is
that he is sick.

Of a previous goodness, preparatory to pardon, the gospel says
nothing, Of a preliminary state of religious feeling as a necessary
introduction to the grace of God, the apostles never spoke. Fears,
troubles, self-questionings, bitter cries for mercy, forebodings of
judgment, and resolutions of amendment, may, in point of time,
have preceded the sinner’s reception of the good news; but they did
not constitute his fitness, nor make up his qualification. He would
have been quite as welcome without them. They did not make the
pardon more complete, more gracious, or more free. The sinner’s
wants were all his arguments;—”God be merciful to me a sinner.”
He needed salvation, and he went to God for it, and got it just
because he needed it, and because God delights in the poor and
needy. He needed pardon, and he went to God for it, and obtained it
without merit or money. “When he had NOTHING TO PAY, God
frankly forgave.” It was the having nothing to pay that drew out the
frank forgiveness.

Horatius Bonar, How Shall I Go to God?

Imploring Divine Influence

1 MY God, whene’er my longing heart
The praiseful tribute would impart,
In vain my tongue with feeble aim,
Attempts the glories of thy name.

2 In vain my boldest thoughts arise,
I sink to earth and lose the skies;
Yet I may still thy grace implore,
And low in dust thy name adore.

3 0 let thy grace my heart inspire,
And raise each languid, weak desire ;
Thy grace, which condescends to meet
The sinner prostrate at thy feet.

4 With humble fear let love unite,
And mix devotion with delight;
Then shall thy name be all my joy,
Thy praise my constant, blest employ.

5 Thy name inspires the harps above
With harmony, and praise, and love ;
That grace which tunes th’ immortal strings,
Looks kindly down on mortal things.

6 0 let thy grace guide every song,
And fill my heart and tune my tongue ;
Then shall the strain harmonious flow,
And heaven’s sweet work begin below.

Anne Steele, Hymns, Psalms, and Poems