Free Grace 2

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

The Gospel of grace alone should drive our minds to the biblical concept of free-grace. One very clear text on free-grace is Romans 3:24-28. In many modern minds the idea of free-grace is simply that there is no cost to the sinner involved, but that is not what the teaching really means. The concept of free-grace is that grace is free of any and all causation from the sinner and that the motivation for grace is found in God alone. There is no cause found in the sinner for what God would show grace and as such grace can only come to the sinner from a cause or motive that is found in God Himself. God shows grace because of Himself rather than because of something found in the sinner. This is not some harsh teaching, though it may ring in the ears that way to some, but this is the greatest hope that a sinner can find. The sinner must not look for any hope in self, but is to look to Christ alone for all grace and He is the only hope for the sinner.

The freedom of God to show grace must be stressed to sinners or they will always look to themselves for some reason that God will show them grace. They will try to improve themselves in order to obtain grace or they will try to come up with a belief or act of faith in order to move God to save them. Grace is either free of causation within the human or it is not. If grace is moved by even one of the smallest causes found in the human, then it is no longer free-grace and as such is not a pure grace at all and is a flat out denial of grace alone. Many denominations use the word “grace” while they stress a meaning that is far from the teaching of free-grace.

Romans 3:24 speaks of justification “as a gift by His grace” (NAS). The KJV and the NIV translate it as “justified freely by His grace.” The word for “gift” can mean freely or without cause. For example, John 15:24 uses the same word (dorea) and is translated as “without reason” (NIV) and “without a cause” (NAS). “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.'” In other words, the people who hated Christ had no reason in Christ to hate Him. In salvation God has no reason in us to save us. All the causes and reasons are in Him. That is why grace is really grace and salvation is all by and of grace. Grace points to the causal factor being within God and not man. Grace points to the work of God and the unworthiness of man, which is to say that there are no causes in man for God to save man.

It is of interest to notice how the way “gift” is used in the contexts of the following passages (Matt. 10:8; Jn. 4:10; 15:25; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:20; Acts 11:17 Rom. 3:24; 2 Co. 11:7; Gal. 2:21; Eph. 3:7; 2 Thess. 3:8). We have to get past the way modern Americans and others use the word “gift” and why we give gifts these days (holidays and birthdays) and see that a gift in the biblical sense really reflects on the giver and not the receiver. The giver looks upon a needy person and without cause within the needy person, but because of reasons within the giver, a gift is given. Thus, the gift can be said to be given freely (free of causation of merit or worthiness in the receiver of the gift). If there is a cause within the receiver, then it is not truly a gift and it is not fully and completely free.

For grace to be grace, it must be given without a work done by or merit in the person receiving grace. Romans 11:6 sets this out for us with great clarity: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” For grace to be grace and to stay grace there can be no works done or any merit in the person. If there is a work done or merit found in the person, then grace is no longer grace. For the Gospel of grace alone and the Gospel of Christ alone to be in accordance with biblical grace, all the merit and causes have to be found in the Father, purchased by the Son, and applied by the Spirit. The Father does not decide to give grace based on any reason other than the Trinity, the Son does not purchase grace for sinners for any reason other than the Trinity, and the Holy Spirit does not apply grace for any reason other than the Trinity. The Gospel is by grace alone from beginning to end and it is a free-grace and a sovereign grace apart from any merit or worth in the human recipient. This is a non-negotiable to the Gospel of grace alone and it is glorious in how it shines the beauty of God I the face of Christ.

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