Free Grace 35

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}

Salvation is by grace; because it is a gift of free love to such in whom there can be nothing to enforce it, nothing to deserve it, nor anything to move Him to bestow it. The demonstrations are drawn from God, from man. From man: The impotency, deformity, enmity, of man against God, makes it evident that salvation must be wholly, only from grace. [David Clarkson, A Discourse of Free Grace]

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.

The doctrines and teachings of free-grace (real free-grace, not just the name) are rare in our day. There are many teaching something they think of as grace, but it is quite far from free-grace. The fallen human heart loves the modern view of grace, but it will hate free-grace from beginning to end. The fallen human heart is at enmity with God and hates the sovereignty of God, and since all grace is sovereign the human heart will hate true grace which is free-grace. As long as man is not required to repent of all of his free-will and all of his own righteousness and goodness, man may like grace since it helps what he cannot do.

While there are various teachings on the issue, it is not until man is awakened to his impotency, deformity, and enmity against God that he will really understand the Gospel of free-grace. Until man understands and feels his own impotency which is his lack of any power at all in the spiritual realm and the lack of any power to change his own heart or standing before God, man does not understand from the depths of his soul his need of free-grace. Men are blind to the nature of true grace until God opens their eyes to see the lack of all power in the soul. Men are utterly blind to the truths of free-grace until God teaches them in the inner man that they have nothing that they can do. Oh the despair that will enter the soul who does not understand that God saves sinners by free-grace when God opens eyes to see how impoverished the soul is. Oh the despair of the believer as God turns that believer over to a sinful heart to teach that man or woman that it is only by the Spirit and by grace that we can die to sin.

We must teach the doctrines of Scripture regarding the depravity of man because they are necessary if people are to come to grips with free-grace. Scripture does not just teach how bad man is, but how helpless man is and how much men are opposed to God. It is not just that man’s heart is set on evil and is against God, but man has no power to do good and no power to change his own heart. Men must come to grips with this and they must come to grips with this in the depths of their souls. It is one thing to give a discourse on grace and set out the intellectual properties of it, but it is quite another thing for a man or a woman to know that s/he has no power and no ability to please God and move God in any way to save his or her soul. Preachers must know that they are not just there to inform people of the propositions of these great truths, but they are to strive for people to know these great truths in the depths of their souls and they will only know them when the truth sinks to the depths of their souls.

The wonders of free-grace are not simply truths to be held in the mind, but they are great truths for the whole soul. As such, grace is not just an intellectual truth about something, but grace is a truth of God Himself. When God shows grace, He is really showing and manifesting Himself. When God gives grace, He is really giving Himself in Christ. Oh how sinners must see that grace is not just a word, but it is the reality of God giving Himself to sinners in Christ. Christ will not dwell with proud and unbroken sinners, but instead He will dwell with the humble and the contrite. As always, we must be careful at this point. No one can earn anything but striving to humble himself. True humility is the work of God in the soul, though man should seek it from God. True humility is when God prepares the soul as a dwelling place for Himself. Oh the wonders of free-grace!

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