His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.”
The master returned from his journey, and upon returning he checks in with the servants that were looking after his wealth. Like the master, Jesus will return to see what we have done with the grace that He invested in us. When Jesus died and rose again, His grace was made available. His grace is not separate from who He is—grace is not some extension of who He is, but He is this grace. Grace is given to us as the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:14 reveals that the Holy Spirit “is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory."
The master gave his servants a deposit just as God gives us His Spirit, His grace, as a deposit; the Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit of Grace and He is the downpayment on what is to come. Will we use this grace, His Holy Spirit, or will we bury Him and live by the flesh? The Spirit of Grace is given to us to enable us to live Christ’s life in the here and now, so we no longer need to live as slaves to the flesh but rather we live according to the Spirit. Romans 8:15 reveals, "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”
We could live like the servant who had the five talents, letting that money work for us instead of working as a slave in the field for pennies. Or we could work like the servant who had the one talent who, instead of letting the $1.25 million gain interest so that he could live off of this investment, he buried this talent. When we bury grace—or, put differently, if we do not live by the Spirit—we are reliant on our flesh to live a righteous life, which is impossible and leads us into destruction. We have been given the greatest gift, freely; we have been given the very fullness of God to dwell inside us and help us to live this Christian life. But how many of us bury the Holy Spirit under our intellect, our doubt, our fears, and instead rely on ourselves to work for something the Holy Spirit will do for us?
Jesus will return, and faithfulness with His Holy Spirit is what He will be looking for. Did we live by the Spirit or, as Jesus reveals it in this parable, did we live by the investment of these riches? Or did we go back into the field of the flesh, toiling to be right when it is His Spirit that can and will do the work on our behalf? Being faithful to the grace, or Holy Spirit, given us means daily believing and relying on Him. These once-slaves, now-investors didn’t lift a finger but were faithful to invest these finances. We too can either live as an investor of the Holy Spirit or a slave to the flesh. Faith in Christ gives us His Holy Spirit who then empowers us to do what our flesh could not. We are faithful when we have faith in Him rather than our flesh.
Don’t bury the Holy Spirit under your pride today; dig up this deposit that was gifted to you through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It cost Him everything to give you this grace called His Holy Spirit; it would be the greatest tragedy not to use this gift and live by the Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave now lives in you and me. What great news this is to our tired flesh! Let's now share in His joy!
// Pastor Josh Kelsey