Free Grace 7

Nothing in man doth precede or prevent the grace of God. The light and beams of grace do dispel the clouds of our sins. Not for our sakes, but for his Name’s sake he covereth our sins. It is God’s prerogative to free us from sin by grace, and to remove them far from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” {Ps.103:12} He only can remove sin against whom it is committed. He only can cast sin into the depths of the sea, who hath an ocean of grace in himself, in which he swalloweth them up. John Simpson {Perfection of Justification, 1648} Obtained from
Isaiah 40:17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

The comfort that a poor sinner comes to when s/he arrives at the utter end of all trust in the worth of self and the merits that self can possibly obtain is beyond measure. Until sinners arrive at that utter end of all trust in self sinners will trust in themselves to some measure or degree. The heart of man is in a constant war to trust in self to some degree or even just a little bit, but note that the heart of man knows that it must not trust in self for all. But how deceptive it is for man to think that he must trust in self just a little, though indeed that is not how the heart would lie to self about it, but when a person trusts in self just a little a person is trusting in self as the trigger of the whole event.

The heart of man is constantly clinging to something or someone to obtain the slightest bit of something that will move God to save him. This is part of the horror of Arminian theology. It tells men that it is up to them to make a choice, pray a prayer, or to do something so that God will save them. This is what is so repulsive to those who strongly protest Arminian theology and practice. “Nothing in man doth precede or prevent the grace of God” is the statement of theology on which grace alone rests. God does not look to man for anything to move Him to show grace. There is nothing in man that precedes grace but sin and that is nothing to move God in a positive way. The Arminian doctrine of free-will teaches us that the will is free of depravity and of grace enough to where the will is free. That means that there is something in man that precedes grace. As long as it is taught that there is something in man that man needs to do in order to receive grace, that teaching is not biblical and denies grace alone.

When the Scriptures teach that “All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless,” this destroys the hope of any sinner to find something in self that precedes grace. If all the nations are regarded by Him as less than nothing, then not only is there nothing to be found in any single sinner that is pleasing to God or will move God, but there are things that are less than nothing that are found. The sinner must be broken from any hope or trust in himself by the teaching ministry of Christ that he may look to Christ alone for His grace alone. The sinner cannot look to Christ alone if the sinner looks to himself to make a choice or to pray a prayer in order to move God to save him or her. Until the sinner sees self as nothing and even less than nothing, the sinner will always be looking to self for something.

The Scriptures are remarkable clear on this subject though man has muddied the waters. God saves for His name’s sake alone and there is nothing in man that can move Him since He is only self-moved. As long as man is trusting in self for even some little something, then man is not trusting in God to save himself in accordance with God’s grace alone or salvation for the sake of God’s name and glory alone. Unregenerate man has sinned against God by having a nature that is opposed to God and is at enmity with God as well as his deeds are opposed to God in every way. Even if man had never sinned, God would not owe man anything as man can never bring God to a point where God is obligated to man. Even apart from sin, could man ever have done anything good apart from receiving it first from God? So at his best man was utterly dependant upon God for all good that he would do. But now that man has sinned, man is less than nothing since nothing has never had a being to sin. Being a sinner is far worse than man can realize at any point, but the unbeliever’s sin is upon him and blinds him as well. Oh how sinners should give up all hope in themselves, their merits, and their worth. They will only be saved by grace alone and that for the sake of His name alone. Looking to themselves for any part of that is a terrible pride and is greatly opposed to the Gospel of grace alone. Nothing can possibly precede the grace of God.

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