Free Grace 8

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 vastness of God and the fullness of God are in stark contrast with the smallness and emptiness of man. The sin of man is directly against God which means that the sin of man is far greater than he can imagine. God created man holy and good, yet man has fallen into unholiness and evil. God created the soul with light and beauty, yet man fell and the soul became darkness and deformed. The soul of man is now deformed both morally and intellectually, though the two are so related that one cannot be deformed in one without being deformed in the other.

The fall and sin has taken the soul as it came from the hand of God and has changed it to where it is thought of in terms of physical maladies and diseases. The soul is said to be crippled, by which it refers to its utter inability to do what it was created to do much as a person which is struck down with some malady cannot walk as the body was created to do. The soul is said to be diseased when it is full of sin which makes its comparison to leprosy and other diseases of the body. A diseased body in the Old Testament meant that one was unclean, as then as now a person can have diseases of the soul which makes it unclean to be in the presence of God. As with leprosy, sin is contagious and has terrible effects on others and can be passed on to them with terrible results.

The fallen soul is pictured as having problems much as the body has with its senses when diseases take over. The soul is said to be blind. The soul is said to be deaf and cannot hear. The soul is said to be in such a state that its odor is like that of an open grace. The soul is said to have tastes that are foul. The soul is said to be apart from God and cannot sense His presence. What we must understand by all of these pictures is that the soul has nothing in it that can precede grace. There is nothing in the soul that is anything but against God and is fighting God with enmity and hatred. The soul has absolutely and utterly nothing in it but what would repel a holy God.

So we are left with a being that is beneath nothing, which is to say that it has sinned and it is worse than nothing. It is not at level zero which is to have done nothing good or bad, but instead the soul is by nature worthy of the wrath and anger of God and even more the soul is sinning against God in all that it is, thinks, desires, or does. All the motivations of the soul are not out of love for God but are out of love for self. All the intentions of the soul are for self rather than love for God. There is not only nothing good in the soul, but there is nothing but sin in the soul. The soul, once again, has nothing that would move God to save it, but even more it has done nothing but sin against the God with enmity and hatred in all it does.

The soul is left in the hands of Divine grace. There is nothing in the soul that would move a holy, holy, holy God to save it, but instead the sinfulness of the soul is repulsive to such a thrice holy Being. Yet the statement above is that nothing can prevent the grace of God. Oh how this is good news to vile sinners who see themselves as what they really are. They know that their wills are not free from depravity and they don’t want to be free from grace. They look to Christ alone who can save them despite of who they are. Because God saves sinners for the sake of His own name and out of love for Himself He can save sinners and nothing can prevent His saving sinners if He is pleased to do so. The motivations and intents of God are perfectly pure and holy, so it must be His own glory and name that moves Him. But when He is moved by Himself to save sinners, there is nothing that can hold Him back or prevent Him. Oh poor sinner, look to Christ as your all. If you look to self you will see nothing that would motivate God to save or sanctify you. Look to Christ and you will see Him who for His name’s sake alone can move God to save you and sanctify you. Oh what hope there is for sinners who die to self and simply look to Christ by grace alone and for grace alone.

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