By Alan Davis
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 2:5-8 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
As I sit here beginning to write about such a humbling doctrine, I have floods of memories of the goodness of God’s grace. Those who have experienced God’s grace know what it is to sit in the wonderful light of our Savior Jesus Christ, knowing we have not received this grace by any merit on our own. I do not believe that we can mine the depths of this great doctrine at all, though study, meditate, preach and teach it, we should. Christians could write about God’s grace till Christ comes for His Church and we would still just be skimming the surface of this rich and deep doctrine.
Herbert Lockyer writes that, “Grace is the spring and source of all benefits received from God”. We all know the old definition, “Grace is unmerited favor of God”. Many things can be said of grace but the term denotes that God’s grace is in no way given to man-kind based on anything man has done. Men cannot earn, nor pay, for God’s grace. Grace is a gift from God, given to man based on the perfect will of the Father. Those who experience God’s grace do so as a gift from God. As St. Augustine said, “God always pours His grace into empty hands”. As that great old hymn we sing in many of our Baptist churches proclaims; “Marvelous infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe!” This grace that believers stand in is a free gift from our heavenly Father.
Martin Lloyd-Jones writes, “There is no more wonderful word than ‘grace’. It means unmerited favor or kindness shown to one who is utterly undeserving. It is not merely a free gift, but a gift to those who deserve the exact opposite and it is given to us while we are without hope and without God.” There truly is no sweeter word than the word ‘grace’. When God’s Spirit convicts a lost sinner’s heart and the sinner sees his condemnation, it is one word whispered that brings a conversion and calm to a sinner’s heart: ‘grace’. When Satan whispers his lies into the believer’s ear, it is the Spirit of God that counters all those lies with one word: ‘grace’. When the storms of doubt and dread come across the horizon, it is that one word swept into the heart of the believer by the great comforter: ‘grace’! “Amazing grace how sweet the sound…” How sweet it is indeed to the sinner with no hope, and to the believer in the midst of trials and failures.
I love the illustration of one Christian author told in a book a few years ago. He tells a story of two fellas, one a young man in his early teens, not hardly grown into a man yet and the other an elderly man who has seen his prime long ago. Both these men meet with other men who are seeking work on a street corner where the farmers come to pick up their day laborers to work in the fields. On the first couple of days that week, the young teen and the elderly man are left and not chosen by any of the farmers to work in the fields. On the third day the young teen and the elderly man have now been picked over (for the third time) for those in their prime by the farmers. The two are left alone on the street corner. At about 10:00 am they both start to feel as if they might as well call it quits because the work is well underway in all the fields and no farmer in his right mind wants a young teen and an elderly man to work in the fields. But just as they have started to step away from the corner a truck appears, coming down the old dusty road of the farm town. The two stop and watch the truck pull up to the corner and a farmer yells out the window, “need two more men to work in my field, you two get in the back.” As the two climb in the back with a renewed gusto and lifted heads they settle down in the back of the old ton truck for the ride to the farmer’s field. As the truck bounces down the old dusty road with the sun shining down on the two, who just a few minutes before were feeling totally hopeless and rejected, they now have renewed hope and lifted hearts. The young teen turns to the elderly man, Ben and says, “it sure feels good to be chosen doesn’t it Ben?” With a renewed gleam of hope in his eyes Ben turns to the teen and says “Yes it does son, yes it does”. Eph 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”
That, my friends, is grace.
Pastor Alan Davis
Woodland Baptist Church
August 28, 2012