by CHARLES WOODRUFF
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
“But he giveth more grace” (James 4:6a).
None of us will ever comprehend God’s grace. When we consider His election, we think that’s difficult, but, is anything too hard for the Lord? (See Jeremiah 32:27). He will bring His purpose to pass. He is God, after all.Why should we stumble over His predestination? He has
marked out His plan beforehand.No problem to see this if you try.Wouldn’t you, if you were
absolute ruler of the entire universe, map out your plan and make it happen? But it is not your
plan or purpose, is it? It is the plan of Almighty God, and He is carrying it out.
But, more difficult is to understand how through His amazing grace he could not only choose, save, keep and protect His own, but how He could love the unlovable? How could He love a wretch like me? How could he love a wretch like you? If you have never seen yourself as a wretch, as a worm not worth saving, you may still have some miles to go before you can know
the Living God.Instead of stumbling over why God passes by so many, and only chooses to save relatively few out of all humanity, we ought to ponder why He saves anyone! “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23). “As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6b).
Many more scriptures, and the practical reality of today’s wicked world, show man’s total
depravity, and begs the question: “Why should God save anybody?” But He indeed does still save and not only saves, but keeps. Not only does He keep His own, but He gives them more
grace to live day by day through all of life’s trials. In this life we will never figure out God;
especially as it regards His grace. It is not justice we have received but mercy and grace.
As Arthur Pink said:“Grace is the opposite of justice. Justice gives to each his exact due: it shows no favor and knows no mercy. It gives impartially to all precisely by the wages which thy have earned. But grace is free favor, unwarranted and unmerited by the recipients of it. Grace is the very last thing to which rebellious sinners are entitled; to talk of deserving"grace" is a contradiction in terms. Grace is purely a matter of charity, exercised sovereignly and spontaneously, attracted by nothing praiseworthy in its object. Divine grace is the free favor of God in the bestowment of mercies and blessings upon those who have no good in them, and concerning whom no compensation is demanded from them. Nay more: divine grace is not only shown to those who have no merit, but who are full of positive demerit; it is not only bestowed upon the ill-deserving, but the hell-deserving.
How completely grace sets aside every thought of personal desert, may be seen from a single quotation of Scripture: "Being justified freely by His grace" (Rom. 3:24). The word "freely" gives intensity to the term "grace," though the Greek does not convey the thought of abundance, but rather emphasizes its gratuitousness. The same word is rendered "without a cause" in John 15:25. There was nothing whatever in the Lord Jesus to deserve such vile treatment from the hands of His enemies, nothing whatever that He had done warranting such awful enmity on their part. In like manner, there is nothing whatever in any sinner to call forth the favorable regard of a holy God, nothing done by him to win His love; instead, everything to the contrary. Grace, then, is gratis, a free gift. The very expression "the grace of God" implies and denotes that the sinner’s condition is desperate to the last degree and that God may justly leave him to perish; yea, it is a wonder of wonders that he is not already in hell. Grace is a divine provision for those who are so depraved they cannot change their own nature, so averse from God they will not turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their malady nor the remedy, so dead spiritually that God must bring them out of their graves on to resurrection ground if ever
they are to walk in newness of life. Grace is the sinner’s last and only hope; if he is not saved by grace, he will never be saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions, and regards the most zealous religionist on the same plane as the most profligate, the chaste virgin as the foul prostitute. Therefore God is perfectly free to save the chiefest of sinners and bestow His mercy on the vilest of the vile.”. (From Arthur W.Pink’s Life of David,volume one, page 367, online edition).
Practically everyone who claims to be evangelical, or fundamentalist, regarding the Bible and its
teachings believes in grace, or claim they do. That leads some to ask why we call it sovereign
grace. The reason is this grace, both for salvation and for Christian growth, is from the sovereign God. That is, He is the Absolute Ruler and Sustainer of the universe, and he has said “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Romans 9: 15a). Often we hear the word “sovereign” used regarding one of our states in the USA, or the entire nation, as we call it “a sovereign nation”, meaning that it is completely independent and does not answer to any other nation. Well, the Bible teaches that God is independent and does not answer to any other being, or force in the universe.”Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20b) He is the creator of the universe and all that is! This is the God that gives us more grace. It’s okay to ask Him for His grace, because you could not, and would not ask Him if He didn’t put it in your heart to do so! I pray that He will do it for you. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
"The greatest thing we can desire, next to the glory of God, is our own salvation; and the sweetest thing we can desire is the assurance of our salvation. In this life we cannot get higher than to be assured of that which in the next life is to be enjoyed. All saints shall enjoy a heaven when they leave this earth; some saints enjoy a heaven while they are here on earth." Joseph Caryl, 1602-1673