Free Grace 10

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.

Acts 9:1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

The conversion of Saul is very instructive if the issue is pressed upon our souls. Why did God regenerate Saul? Was it because of anything good in Saul? Was it because of the religion of Saul? Was it because Saul was so very zealous for God as a Pharisee? Was it because Saul was born a Jew or of the right parents? Was it because Saul was blameless according to the Law? Was it because Saul was so educated in a religious system? Was it because Saul knew the Old Testament so well?

As we think on these things it may come to mind how Paul (formerly Saul) answered all of these questions in his epistles. But if God did not regenerate Saul because of those things, then He will not be moved to regenerate sinners in our day for similar things either. We must not think that Paul wrote about the Gospel and gave reasons why he was not saved and yet think we are okay for the same reasons that Paul was clearly not saved on account of. We must read Paul as the sent one of Christ, yes, but also as one who was converted and knew the things that he was not converted on account of.

Phi 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

Saul had reason to be confident in the flesh more than anyone alive today. He said that he had far more reason for confidence in the flesh than those in his own day, so we can make the deduction that he would have even more reason to have more confidence than people today. If Saul and then Paul realized that he had nothing that could precede the grace of God, then no one has any reason to find hope that God will find a reason in them to move Him to show them grace. This is not simply a theological game for people to play; this is deadly serious and is eternally serious. All those who think that they can find something in them that will move God to show grace to them are not looking to grace alone and Christ alone for salvation.

The conversion of Saul should stand as a monument and a sign to all who think that they understand the Gospel. It should boom with a great and loud noise that no sinner has anything in him or her that will move God to save him or her. God saves by grace alone and for no other reason. God saves according to Himself and for no other reason. Yet while this is a warning to those who look for something in themselves to move God, this is also great hope for those who see nothing in themselves. Those who see nothing in themselves are those who should hope because they have eyes that have been illuminated by the Spirit. Oh poor and trembling sinner, Christ does not look to you for anything to save you, He only looks to Himself to save you. He is all a sinner must have. Nothing else.

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