Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

The Wednesday Word: Behold your God!

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).

Pause a while and think of this verse. It gives us a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus. Let’s unfold some of its treasures word for word.

‘He’

Who is this ‘He’?

He is the Messiah (Matthew 1:1).

He is Immanuel; God with us (Matthew 1:23).

He is God manifest in the flesh ( I Timothy 3:16).

He is the one Who is revealed in the Word of God under a vast array of titles, names, characters and offices. For example, He is,

Our Hope – 1 Timothy 1:1

Our Peace – Ephesians 2:14

Our Prophet – Hebrews 1:1-3

Our Redeemer – Job 19:25, Galatians 3:13

Our Rock – 1 Corinthians 10:4

Our Sacrifice – 1 John 4:10

Our Saviour – Luke 2:11

The Supreme Creator Over All – 1 Corinthians 1:16-17

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

The Door – John 10:9

The Way – John 14:6

The Eternal Word – John 1:1

The True Vine – John 15:1

The Truth – ” John 8:32

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

‘Shall’ – Without doubt, or fear, or uncertainty.

‘Feed’ – Nourish, provide for, sustain.

‘His Flock’ ––His own, peculiar, personal, property. The Flock is given by the Father (John 6:37), redeemed by the Son (Ephesians 1:7) and brought alive by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:1); therefore, the flock is ‘His’ by gift – by purchase and by the conquest of grace.

‘Like a Shepherd’ In verse 10 it says, “Behold your God who shall come.” Do you really want to see what God is like? The 11th verse gives us the answer. Did you notice it? Look at the 11th verse. It says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:” He’s a shepherd. This is our God. This is His portrait. He goes before His sheep, removing hindrances and difficulties; to shield us from danger and protect us from enemies. He seeks us when we go astray and provides the best pasture for us.

‘He shall Gather.’ That’s what a shepherd does. He gathers. He doesn’t scatter. No ‘shape up or ship out’ message comes from His lips.

‘The Lambs’ – He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in his bosom; these are strong arms. Verse 10 says ‘The Lord will come with strong hand and His arm shall rule for Him.’ The Father’s arms neither grow tired nor weary carrying His children.

“What have I to dread,

What have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace

With my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Leaning, Leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Remember how Jesus told it? He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He also declared, “I am the door. By Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). He is also the Great Shepherd. That is why we read in Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace who brought again from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

Our Lord is the Good, Chief and Great Shepherd.

Behold your God!

He is pictured as a shepherd with little lambs in his arms.

Behold your God!

He is the shepherd with lambs in his bosom.

Behold your God!

He gently leads those that are with young.

Behold your God!

Our God is our Shepherd. What a Shepherd! He encircles His flock with tender care and love. He loses none of us. I want to shout, Hallelujah! This is our God. He is the God who comes as a shepherd with the lambs in His arm.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Advertisements

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIII-Efficacious Grace

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIII

Efficacious Grace

4. THE EFFECT PRODUCED IN THE SOUL

The immediate and important effect of this inward, purifying change of nature is that the person loves righteousness and trusts in Christ for salvation. Whereas his natural element was sin, it now becomes holiness; sin becomes repulsive to him, and he loves to do good. This effective and irresistible grace converts the will itself and forms a holy character in the person by a creative act. It removes a man’s appetite for sinful things so that he refrains from sin, not as the dyspeptic refuses to eat the dainties for which he longs, lest his indulgence should be punished with the agonies of sickness, but rather because he hates sin for its own sake. The holy and thorough submission to God’s will, which the convert before dreaded and resisted, he now loves and approves. Obedience has become not only the obligatory but the preferable good.

But so long as people remain in this world they are subject to temptations and they still have the remnants of the old nature clinging to them. Hence they are often deluded, and commit sin; Yet these sins are only the death struggles and frenzied writhings of the old nature which has already received the death blow. The regenerate also suffer pain, disease, discouragement, and even death itself, although they are steadily advancing toward complete salvation.

At this point many people confuse regeneration and sanctification. Regeneration is exclusively God’s work, and it is an act of His free grace in which He implants a new principle of spiritual life in the soul. It is performed by supernatural power and is complete in an instant. On the other hand sanctification is a process through which the remains of sin in the outward life are gradually removed, so that, as the Shorter Catechism says, we are enabled more and more to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness. It is a joint work of God and man. It consists in the gradual triumph of the new nature implanted in regeneration over the evil that still remains after the heart has been renewed. Or, in other words, we may say that complete sanctification lags behind after the life has been in principle won to God. Perfect righteousness is the goal which is set before us all through this life and every Christian should make steady progress toward that goal. Sanctification, however, is not fully completed until death, at which time the Holy Spirit cleanses the soul of every vestige of sin, making it holy and raising it above even the possibility of sinning.

Strictly speaking, we may say that redemption is not fully complete until the saved have received their resurrection bodies. In one sense it was complete when Christ died on Calvary; yet it is applied only gradually by the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit does thus effectually apply to the elect the merits of Christ’s sacrifice, their salvation is most infallibly certain and can by no means be prevented. Hence the certainty that the will of God for the salvation of his people is in no wise disappointed or made void by His creatures.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The gospel is to the true believer a thing of power

The gospel is to the true believer a thing of power. It is Christ the power of God. Ay, there is a power in God’s gospel beyond all description. Once, I, like Mazeppa, bound on the wild horse of my lust, bound hand and foot, in capable of resistance, was galloping on with hell’s wolves behind me, howling for my body and my soul, as their just and lawful prey. There came a mighty band which stopped that wild horse, cut my bands, set me down, and brought me into liberty. Is there power, sir? Ay, there is power, and he who has felt it must acknowledge it. There was a time when I lived in the strong old castle of my sins, and rested in my works. There came a trumpeter to the door, and bade me open it. I with anger chid him from the porch, and said he never should enter. There came a goodly personage, with loving countenance; his hands were marked with scars, where nails were driven, and his feet had nailprints too; he rifted up his cross, using it as a hammer; at the first blow the gate of my prejudice shook; at the second it trembled more; at the third down it fell, and in he came; and he said, “Arise, and stand upon thy feet, for I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” A thing of power! Ah! it is a thing of power. I have felt it here, in this heart; I have the witness of the Spirit within, and know it is a thing of might, because it has conquered me; it has bowed me down.

His free grace alone, from the first to the last,

Hath won my affection, and held my soul fast.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Wednesday Word: The Gospel: Our Best Friend

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14.

We often feel that we are not worth saving … and this, of course, is an accurate assessment. As Spurgeon said, “When you feel yourself as totally unworthy you have hit the truth.” That is why, as we grow in grace, the Gospel is our best friend.

Let me illustrate. The story is told of how the devil sought to discourage the mighty reformer Martin Luther by continually making him feel guilty. Satan, it seems constantly reminded the great preacher of the list of his sins. When the devil had finished, Luther purportedly said, “Think harder: you must have forgotten some.” And the devil did think, and he listed more sins. When he was done enumerating the sins, Luther said, “Now, with a red ink write over that list, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.” The devil had nothing to say in the light of Luther’s best friend … the Gospel.

As we look by faith to the Lord Jesus, and see His shed blood, we find healing for our wounded conscience. By faith, we understand that His blood has satisfied all claims that unalterable divine justice made against us.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Our sins have been purged perfectly by a perfect offering made with perfect blood. These are the truths to continually feed to the troubled conscience.

If we are regularly condemned by the consciousness of our past sins, we have an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22). However, the Gospel gives us a perfect conscience that is free from the guilt and condemnation of sins.

The Gospel is our best friend.

I will admit that the legalist in me is sometimes uncomfortable with this arrangement. Maybe you are like me, resistant, at times, to the accomplishments of grace? This is why we need to continually saturate our minds with the Gospel. When we find ourselves more conscious of our former sins than we are of the accomplishments of Christ on our behalf, we need to cleanse our thinking by applying Finished Work teaching to our thinking.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Someone says, “I can’t say that they are, but I am doing my best to change my life.” That’s great, but it will never work! You can do your best to reform, but that will never purge your conscience. Only applying the blood of Christ can do that.

The Gospel is our best friend.

Christ, as a man, was the Servant of Yahweh, the one in whom the Father delighted. It was the Father’s purpose to save and cleanse a people for Himself, and His plans were flawlessly executed by His beloved Son, the God/Man. It is only by the shedding of His blood that we are saved, and that blood was shed 2000 years ago at Calvary. The work is finished. He gave His life a ransom for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:10). Do you know this? Is this truly personal to you?

Our best religious efforts cannot cleanse the conscience. But the Lord wants us to hear him say “Be of good cheer; your sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).

What can prevent us going to Him? Our sins? No, it is our sin that is the reason to approach Him. Let us go to Him with freedom of speech (see Hebrews 4:16) to obtain mercy and grace to help in the time of need. He alone can purge the guilty conscience and give peace to the troubled mind.

The Gospel is our best friend.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIII-Efficacious Grace

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIII

Efficacious Grace

3. AN INWARD CHANGE WROUGHT BY SUPERNATURAL POWER

In the Scriptures this change is called a regeneration (Titus 3:5), a spiritual resurrection which is wrought by the same mighty power with which God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19, 20), a calling out of darkness into God’s marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), a passing out of death into life (John 5:24), a new birth (John 3:3), a making alive (Colossians 2:13), a taking away of the heart of stone and giving of a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19), and the subject of the change is said to be a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Such descriptions completely refute the Arminian notion that regeneration is primarily man’s act, induced by moral persuasion or the mere influence of the truth as presented in a general way by the Holy Spirit. And just because this change is produced by power from on high which is the living spring of a new and re-created life, it is irresistible and permanent.

The regeneration of the soul is something which is wrought in us, and not an act performed by us. It is an instantaneous change from spiritual death to spiritual life. It is not even a thing of which we are conscious at the moment it occurs, but rather something which lies lower than consciousness. At the moment of its occurrence the soul is as passive as was Lazarus when he was called back to life by Jesus. Concerning the soul in regeneration Charles Hodge says: “It is the subject, and not the agent of the change. The soul co-operates, or, is active in what precedes and in what follows the change, but the change itself is something experienced, and not something done. The blind and the lame who came to Christ, may have undergone much labor in getting into His presence, and they joyfully exerted the new power imparted to them, but they were entirely passive in the moment of the healing. They in no way co-operated in the production of that effect. The same is true in regeneration.” 3 . And again he says: “The same doctrine on this subject is taught in other words when regeneration is declared to be a new birth. At birth the child enters upon a new state of existence. Birth is not its own act. It is born. It comes from a state of darkness, in which the objects adapted to its nature cannot act on it or awaken its activities. As soon as it comes into the world all its faculties are awakened; it sees, feels, and hears, and gradually unfolds all its faculties as a rational and moral, as well as a physical being. The scriptures teach that it is thus in regeneration. The soul enters upon a new state. It is introduced into a new world. A whole class of objects before unknown or unappreciated are revealed to it, and exercise upon it their appropriate influence.” 4

Regeneration involves an essential change of character. It is a making the tree good in order that the fruit may be good. As a result of this change, the person passes from a state of unbelief to one of saving faith, not by any process of research or argument, but of inward experience. And as we had nothing to do with our physical birth, but received it as a sovereign gift of God, we likewise have nothing to do with our spiritual birth but receive it also as a sovereign gift. Each occurred without any exercise of our own power, and even without our consent being asked. We no more resist the latter than we resist the former. And as we go ahead and live our own natural lives after being born, so we go ahead and work out our own salvation after being regenerated.

The Scriptures pointedly teach that the pre-requisite for entrance into the Kingdom of God is a radical transformation wrought by the Spirit of God Himself. And since this work on the soul is sovereign and supernatural it may be granted or withheld according to the good pleasure of God. Consequently, salvation, to whomsoever it may be granted, is entirely of grace. The born-again Christian comes to see that God is in reality “the author and perfecter” of his faith (Hebrews 12:2), and that in this respect He has done a work for him which He has not done for his unconverted neighbor. In answer to the question, “Who maketh thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive ?” (1 Corinthians 4:7), he replies that it is God who has put the difference between men, especially between the redeemed and the lost. If any person believes, it is because God has quickened him; and if any person fails to believe, it is because God has withheld that grace which He was under no oblation to bestow. Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a “self-made” man; the highest type of man is the one who can say with Paul, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”

When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth,” a mighty power went along with the command and gave effect to it. Lazarus, of course, was not conscious of any other than his own power working in him; but when he later understood the situation he undoubtedly saw that he had been called into life wholly by divine power. God’s power was primary, his was secondary, and would never have been exerted except in response to the divine. It is in this manner that every redeemed soul is brought from spiritual death to spiritual life. And just as the dead Lazarus was first called back into life and then breathed and ate, so the soul dead in sin is first transferred to spiritual life and then exercises faith and repentance and does good works.

Paul emphasized this very point when he said that although Paul might plant and Apollos might water, it was God who gave the increase. Mere human efforts are unavailing. If a crop of wheat is to be raised, man can do only the most external and mechanical things toward that end. It is God who gives the increase through the sovereign control of forces which are entirely outside the sphere of man’s influence. Likewise, in regard to the soul it matters not how eloquent the preacher may be, unless God opens the heart there will be no conversion. Here especially man does only the most external and mechanical things and it is the Holy Spirit who imparts the new principle of spiritual life.

The Scripture doctrine of the fall represents man as morally ruined, unable by nature to do any good thing. The truly converted Christian comes to see his inability and knows that he does not make himself eligible for heaven by his own good works and merits. He realizes that he cannot move spiritually but as he is moved; that like the branches of a tree, he can make no shoot, nor put forth leaves, nor bear fruit, except as he receives sap from the root. Or, as Calvin says, “No man makes himself a sheep, but is created such by divine grace.” The elect hear the Gospel and believe — not always at the first hearing, but at the divinely appointed time — the non-elect hear but disbelieve, not because they lack sufficient evidence, but because their inward nature is opposed to holiness. The reason for the two kinds of response is to be traced to an external source. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will make away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh,” Ezekiel 36:26. The “heart” in Biblical language includes the whole inner man.

Under the terms of the eternal covenant which was made between the Father and the Son, Christ has been exalted to be the mediatorial Ruler over the whole earth in order that He may direct the developing kingdom. This is one of the rewards of His obedience and suffering. His directing power is exerted through the agency of the Holy Spirit, through whom His purchased redemption is applied to all for whom it was intended and under the precise conditions of time and circumstance predetermined in the covenant. We are told that it is by no ordinary providence of God that a man believes but by the same mighty power that was exerted when Christ was raised from the dead (Ephesians 1:19, 20). As certainly as it was effective in the resurrection of Christ it will be effective when put forth in an individual, whether in a physical or a spiritual resurrection.

The physical and the spiritual worlds are each the creation of God. In the physical world the water is sovereignly changed into wine, and the leper is healed by a touch. The Arminian readily admits God’s miraculous power in the physical world; why, then, does he deny it in the spiritual world, as if the spirits of men were beyond His control? We believe that God can change a bad man into a good man when He pleases. That is one form of authority which it is the right of the Creator to exercise over the creature. It is one of the means by which the world is governed; and when God sees that it is best for the welfare of the individual and for the development of His kingdom to thus work, it is not only permissible but right that He should do so. The effect follows immediately upon the volition, as when He said, Let there be light. “The Divine saving act,” says Mozley, “is the bestowal of this irresistible grace. The subject of the Divine predetermination is rescued by an act of absolute power from the dominion of sin, dragged from it, as it were, by force, converted, filled with the love of God and his neighbor, and qualified infallibly for a state of ultimate reward.” 5

As the physical eye once blinded cannot be restored to sight by any amount or intensity of light falling upon it, so the soul dead in sin cannot acquire spiritual vision by any amount of Gospel truth presented to it. Unless the surgeon’s knife or a miracle restore the eye to its normal condition, sight is impossible; and unless the soul be set right through regeneration it will never comprehend and accept the Gospel truth. In regeneration God bids the sinner live; and immediately he is alive, filled with a new spiritual life. Lydia, the seller of purple in the city of Thyatira, gave heed to the things which were spoken by Paul, because the Lord had first opened her heart (Acts 16:14). Christ taught this same truth when in His intercessory prayer He said concerning Himself that God “gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given Him, He should give eternal life,” John 17:2; and again, “For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom He will,” John 5:21.

Under the covenant made with Adam, man’s destiny depended on his own works. We know the results of that trial. Now if man could not work out his salvation when he was upright, what chance has he to do so since he is fallen? Happily for us, God has this time taken the matter into His own hand. And if God again gave man free will by which to work out his own salvation, what would He be doing but again instituting the dispensation which has already been tried and which ended in failure? Suppose a man is carried away by a torrent which he is unable to master, would it be reasonable or wise to take him out only to recruit his strength for a second trial? Would it not be a mockery to save him only to repeat the process? Since God does not repeat His dispensations it follows that the second time He would order salvation on a different plan. If further works are to be wrought, then God, and not man, will be the author; and the new dispensation, like the old, is adjusted to the state in which it finds man.

We are very sure that no property does, or can, attach to the will of man, whether fallen or unfallen, that can take it beyond the reach of God’s sovereign control. Saul was called at the height of his persecuting zeal and was transformed into the saintly Paul. The poor dying thief on the cross was called in the last hour of his earthly life. When Paul preached at Antioch “as many as were ordained to eternal life (and only they) believed,” Acts 13:48. If God purposed that all men should be saved He most certainly could bring all to salvation. But for reasons which have been only partly revealed, He leaves many impenitent. Through all of His works, however, God does nothing which is inconsistent with man’s nature as a rational and responsible being.

One of the great short-comings of Arminianism has been its failure to recognize the necessity for the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit on the heart. Instead, it has resolved regeneration into a more or less gradual change which is carried out by the individual person, a mere change of purpose in the sinner’s mind, which is a result of moral persuasion and the general force of truth. It has insisted upon “free will,” “the power of contrary choice,” etc., and has taught that ultimately the sinner determines his own destiny. In its more consistent forms it makes man a co-savior with Christ, as if the glory in redemption was to be divided between the grace of Christ and the will of man, the latter dividing the spoils with the former.

If, as Arminians say, God is earnestly trying to convert every person, He is making a great failure of His work; for among the adult population of the world up to the present time, where He has succeeded in saving one He has let perhaps twenty-five fall into hell. Such a view sheds little glory on the Divine Majesty. Concerning the Arminian doctrine of resistible grace Toplady says that it is “a doctrine which represents Omnipotence itself as wishing and trying and striving to no purpose. According to this tenet, God, in endeavoring (for it seems that it is only an endeavor) to convert sinners, may, by sinners, be foiled, defeated, and disappointed; He may lay close and long siege to the soul, and that soul can, from the citadel of impregnable free will, hang out a flag of defiance to God Himself, and by a continued obstinacy of defense, and a few vigorous sallies of free will compel Him to raise the siege. In a word, the Holy Spirit, after having for years perhaps, danced attendance on the free will of man, may at length, like a discomfited general, or an unsuccessful politician, be either put to ignominious night, or contemptuously dismissed, re infecta, without accomplishing the end for which He was sent.”

It is unreasonable to suppose that the sinner can thus defeat the creative power of Almighty God. “All authority hath been given to me in heaven and on earth,” said the risen Lord. No limit is set to that authority. “Is anything too hard for Jehovah ?” “He doeth according to His will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?” In view of these passages and many others to the same effect it ill becomes us to imagine that God is struggling along with man as best He can, persuading, exhorting, pleading, but unable to accomplish His purpose if His creatures will otherwise. If God does not effectually call, we may imagine Him saying, “I will that all men should be saved; nevertheless, it must finally be, not as I will but as they will.” He is then put into the same extremity with Darius who would gladly have saved Daniel, but could not (Daniel 6:14). No Christian who is familiar with what the Scriptures teach about the sovereignty of God can believe that He is thus defeated in His creatures. Is it not necessary that a creature must have power to defy and thwart the purposes of Almighty God before his actions can be rewarded or punished. Furthermore, if God actually stood powerless before the majesty of man’s lordly will, there would be but little use to pray for Him to convert any one. It would then be more reasonable for us to direct our petitions to the man himself.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

If a man never in his life knew himself to be a Christian, he never was a Christian

But if a man never in his life knew himself to be a Christian, he never was a Christian. If he never had a moment of confidence, when he could say, “Now I know in whom I have believed,” I think I do not utter a harsh thing when I say, that that man could not have been born again; for I do not understand how a man can be born again, and not know it; I do not understand how a man can be killed and then made alive again, and not know it; how a man can pass from death unto life, and not know it; how a man can be brought out of darkness into marvellous light without knowing it. I am sure I know it, when I shout out my old verse,

Now free from sin, I walk at large,

My Savior’s blood’s my full discharge;

At his dear feet content I lay,

A sinner saved, and homage pay.”

There are moments when the eyes glisten with joy; and we can say, “We are persuaded, confident, certain.” I do not wish to distress anyone who is under doubt. Often gloomy doubts will prevail; there are seasons when you fear you have not been called; when you doubt your interest in Christ. Ah! what a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you, but his hold of you! What a sweet fact that it is not how you grasp his hand, but his grasp of yours, that saves you. Yet I think you ought to know sometime or other, whether you are called of God. If so, you will follow me in the next part of my discourse which is a matter of pure experience; unto us who are saved, it is “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

The Wednesday Word: Grace! Grace! Grace! Part 3

In the entire Bible there is no scripture that indicates that we can be saved without Jesus Christ!

In the Old Testament, He is the coming Messiah. He is the promise of grace. In the New Testament, He is the realized Messiah who makes us alive by grace.

Grace always leads us to Christ Jesus who by grace procured our salvation (Romans 5:8).

He Himself is our salvation (John 11:25).

He Himself is the grace of God (Titus 2:11).

Grace is embedded in His very name, for the name of Jesus, means salvation. Do you remember this verse “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)?

Grace leads the Lord’s people to Christ Jesus, and no one else. Grace enables us to “look unto Him” by faith to be saved.

But what about repentance brother? Yes what about it? Is it not important? Yes it is! But let me ask you…where do we get repentance? It’s the goodness of God exhibited in His Grace that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Dear pastor, do you want to see genuine repentance in your church, then preach Christ crucified. There is no other way! It’s Grace, Grace, Grace! Sometimes we pastors find ourselves trying to motivate our listeners by the Law and its demands instead of by the Gospel. However, it takes no spirituality whatsoever to get behind the pulpit and demand change as we warn about bad habits and lax living. This is not Gospel preaching!

But I digress.

We can say that grace is:

1) Free Grace—the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)

2) Saving Grace—it brings us to eternal salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

3) Sovereign Grace—not of ourselves, but by God’s sovereign will (Ephesians 2:8)

4) Sustaining Grace—created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He ordained beforehand that we should walk (move forward) in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see.

T’was grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home

John Nelson, a preacher in the 18th century had been a stonemason before God saved him. And God used him mightily to lead people to Christ. One day he was talking to a self-righteous individual who said, “I don’t need your Saviour. I live right, and I’ve done good things. I’ll take my chances with the rest of the people.” Mr Nelson replied, “Well look here my good man, if God let you into heaven, you’d bring discord there, because all the others would be singing ‘worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing,’ and you’d be singing ‘worthy am I, glory to me, because I lived a consistent Christian life.’ He said, “If an angel heard you sing a song like that in heaven, why he’d throw you over the wall.” And the redeemed folks will all chime in and say, “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, and nothing else.”

There’ll be nobody in heaven singing about what they have done

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

God saves us because He is gracious, not because He sees any goodness inherent in us!

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

Our certain hope stands on pure Grace, sovereign, unqualified Grace!

It’s Grace! Grace! Grace!

God saves us because He is good, not because we are!

It’s all of Grace.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com