Evening, August 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“We ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit…” — Romans 8:23
Paul declares our present possession of the Spirit. At this present moment, we have the first fruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that gem of the new birth; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already made “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” by the effective working of God the Holy Spirit. This is called the first fruit because it comes first. As the wave-sheaf offering was the first of the harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life, are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls. The first fruits were the promise of the harvest. As soon as the Israelite had plucked the first handful of ripe grain, he looked forward with glad anticipation to the time when the wagon should creak beneath the sheaves. So, brethren, when God gives us things which are pure, lovely, and of good report, as the work of the Holy Spirit, these are to us the indicator of the coming glory. The first fruits were always holy to the Lord, and our new nature, with all its powers, is a consecrated thing. The new life is not ours that we should attribute its excellence to our own merit; it is Christ’s image and creation, and is ordained for his glory. But the first fruits were not the harvest, and the works of the Spirit in us at this moment are not the completion–the perfection is yet to come. We must not boast that we have attained, and so imagine the wave offering to be all the produce of the year: we must hunger and thirst after righteousness, and long for the day of full redemption. Dear reader, this evening open your mouth wide, and God will fill it. Let the benefit of present possession of the Spirit excite in you a sacred coveting for more grace. Sigh within yourself for higher degrees of dedication, and your Lord will grant them to you, for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think.