Abounding Grace

January 25, 2015

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Abounding Grace Part IV

Stick with me as we go through this series on grace, it is probably one of the least taught virtues of God, frequently mentioned but often neglected as the touchstone of salvation.

Grace Cannot Incur a Debt

        An act is in no sense gracious if under any conditions a debt is incurred. Grace, being unrecompensed favor, is necessarily unrecompensed as to obligations which are past, unrecompensed as to obligations which are present, and unrecompensed as to obligations which are future. Grace must always remain unadulterated in its generosity and benefit. How emphatically this is true of the grace of God towards sinners! Yet how often this aspect of divine salvation is perverted! Infinite and eternal transformations are wrought by the power of God when He exercises His grace. He is thereby glorified and sinners are saved.

Such far-reaching results cannot fail to satisfy and delight Him eternally; but He remains unrecompensed for His salvation through grace. What He does He bestows as a gift. Rightfully a benefit cannot be called a gift if it is paid for before, at the time, or after. This is a fundamental truth of the Word of God, and it is imperative that it be kept free from all confusing complications.

        When a recompense for the gift of God is proposed, every element of salvation is obscured, and the true motive for Christian service is sacrificed as well. The Scriptures everywhere guard these two truths from such perversion; for, in the Bible, salvation is always presented as a gift, an unrecompensed favor, a pure benefit from God (John 10:28; Rom 6:23). And, in like manner, no service is to be wrought, and no offering is to be given, with a view to repaying God for His gift. Any attempt to compensate God for His gift is an act so utterly out of harmony with the revealed Truth, and exhibits such a lack of appreciation of His loving bounty, that it cannot be other than distressing to the Giver.

All attempts to repay His gift, be they ever so sincere, serve only to frustrate His grace and to lower the marvelous kindness of God to the sordid level of barter and trade. How faithfully we should serve Him, but never to repay Him! Service is the Christian’s means of expressing his love and devotion to God, as God has expressed His love to those whom He saves by the gracious things He has done. Christian service for God should be equally gracious.

        It therefore becomes those who have received His gifts in grace to be jealous for the purity of their motives in service for Him. Unwittingly the grace of God is too often denied by well-meaning attempts to compensate God for His benefits. No semblance of the most vital facts about divine grace can be retained unless salvation is, in its every aspect, treated as a gift from God, and Christian service and faithfulness is deemed to be only the expression of love and gratitude to God.

 

According to the Scriptures, salvation is never conditioned on human faithfulness, or on the promise of human faithfulness. There is no payment required, past, present, or future. God saves unmeriting sinners in unrelated, unrecompensed, unconditioned, sovereign grace. Good works should follow; but with no thought of compensation. Christians are “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph 2:10); they are to be a “special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14); and “those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8). Thus, and only thus, are “good works” related to the gracious salvation from God through Christ Jesus. Grace is out of question when recompense is in question.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Pray for Don on his mission trip to Nepal.

thanks for all the prayers, the antibiotics have broke the fever and in theory I’m no longer delusional or seeing rabbits with cigars and plaid skirts.

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