Free Grace 13

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 Supralapsarian.com

Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ– this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

Behold the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. While the religious world is panting after John 3:16 as the greatest verse on the subject of salvation, though indeed they are looking at an idolatrous view of the text, the glory of God shines forth in the freeness of His grace rather than in His looking for something a human heart can do so that He can respond to it in salvation. We are told in this text and the context as well that salvation is the work of a sovereign God. In this we must bow to His sovereign grace, which is the only kind of grace there is.

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

In Acts 2:36 we are told that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Messiah, the Anointed One). When the living God made Jesus Lord, that meant that He was indeed Lord. Peter then told them that it was that Jesus that they had crucified. One aspect of the glory of this is that this shows that God Himself is an ocean of grace and needs nothing but Himself as a motive to show grace to sinners, but another aspect shows the sovereignty of this grace in a different way. Yes, it was the Jews who put Jesus to death on the cross. But it was God Himself who delivered Him over by His predetermined plan and foreknowledge. It was by God’s predetermined plan, then, for these wicked men to put Christ to death by the cross.

But we should stand back in utter astonishment as we behold the glory of God and the utter freeness of His grace. God has known all things from eternity because all things happen according to His plan. In accordance with that plan He sent His Beloved Son to be rejected and then crucified by sinful men, but in the carrying out of that wicked plan the salvation of sinners was accomplished. For the Father to send the Son to suffer and die for angels would be beyond our comprehension. For the Father to send the Son to suffer and die for a man who had sinned only one time (if one could be found) would be an amazing thing, as indeed one sin is enough to make one worthy of eternal flames. But the Father sent His Son for vile sinners who hated His Beloved Son and longed to kill Him for a long time before they did. The Father sent His Son for those who rejected Him who was love incarnate.

Beholding the freeness of the grace of God for those who had crucified His Beloved Son should be of great comfort for the greatest of sinners. For God so loved His elect people that He sent His Son to be mocked, tortured, and crucified so that they would not perish, but instead have eternal life. Behold the freeness of grace to the worst of sinners and the power of grace to those without any strength. It is by grace alone that Christ died for sinners and took the wrath of the Father upon Himself and fully satisfied perfect justice because of who He is. It is by grace alone that Christ has purchased eternal life for sinners by free grace and applies it by free grace as well. Where is the man who will boast in light of that? Where is the man who can have pride in self after that? Where is the man who will take credit for anything good coming from himself in light of that? Oh sinner, behold the glory of free grace and know that you need nothing but Christ and free grace in Him.

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