Musings 98

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Grace is the aspect of the character of God in which His self-love and holiness are seen. He saves sinners based on Himself which means He saves according to His love for Himself (triune) which is His holiness which is His commitment to do all He does and all He is sovereign (everything) over as a means to manifest His beauty and glory. For God to manifest His glory is for God to shine forth His glory which is what He does as an expression of His commitment to manifest His glory which is His holiness and love for Himself. That is why God operates by grace toward human beings because that is the only way that His glory can be expressed which is His holiness and love for Himself. Grace is beautiful because it is His holiness shining forth in His love for Himself in doing all for His own glory.

This concept of grace teaches that God does not depend on human beings to glorify and honor Him, but instead the only way He is glorified is by expressing His own internal glory outwardly. He does this by shining forth His glory in and through human beings by working in them to partake of it and then manifesting it through them. No human being can do anything to honor God apart from God using the human being as an instrument to shine His glory through. He only does this by grace as there is no way to bring God under any form of obligation to another. The covenant with Abraham shows this as God makes the promise to Abraham based on His own character. The promises of the Gospel are also based on His own character as well. God will only deal with human beings based on grace. He alone can manifest His own glory and He alone can honor Himself in reality and truth. This is why humility is so important because it is the emptiness of the creature of self and that means the creature can then have room (so to speak) for the inflow of the glory of God into it by grace alone.

Any scheme of salvation which brings God under obligation in some way to show love and grace is obviously false and will always be a form of works. The teaching of grace, however, is to show that the Gospel is of God and is all of grace from the planning to the application. The Gospel is the display of God’s glory in sending the Son of His love to die for sinners by grace in order that He could cleanse sinners by the grace of His blood and dwell in those sinners by grace. The Gospel is from grace to grace and it is in Christ and His Gospel that we behold His glory in that grace. Apart from this grace there is no Gospel and this is why sinners are saved by grace alone to the glory of God alone, which is really to be saved by Christ alone and for His sake alone.

The Gospel of grace alone does not teach us that sinners can be unchanged and live in sin, but the grace that saves sinners will empty a person of his or her own independence and concept of worth and merit in order to trust in grace alone. Modern religion tells people that all they have to do is believe and then live a somewhat moral life. That is utterly opposed to grace in salvation and grace to live. It is utterly opposed to the Scriptures which teach us that proud hearts which God opposes must be humbled for Him not to oppose them and then to give the humble grace. God is the One who takes proud hearts and breaks them and humbles them and He does this as part of His making them willing in the day of His power.

While modern theology appears to be based on a form of knowledge that is intellectual alone, the Bible speaks of knowing God in a different way. Eternal life is to know God which is to have God communicate Himself and His character to His people rather than them just learning about facts here and there. We know God when we are born of Him and know Him, which is to say He is our Father of truth and love and as such He works that truth and love in His people by grace alone. Christianity is a life in the soul and this life is by grace alone. This life is Christ in the soul and He only dwells in humbled souls. While this grace is indeed free-grace, this free-grace works in the soul to humble it as only humble souls receive free-grace. A general grace is accepted by religious men and proud men, but free-grace is only received by those humbled by that same grace.

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