Gospel of Grace Alone 55

Galatians 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

As newness of life is necessary, so it is as necessary that we should put ourselves into the hands of God for it. It is this sense and conviction which brings us to him hungering and thirsting, and casts the soul upon him with all the strength of its desire, for that change when he alone can work in it. It is the knowledge and belief of this, which makes Gospel mercy and Gospel power so welcome and seasonable a relief to us. It is the hearty persuasion and inward feeling of our helpless state in sin, which constitutes the very life and spirit of prayer; and if it is not working at the bottom of all our prayers, they will be no better than a fruitless, dead formality, and can never work us one jot nearer to God, “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Little children are without strength and without knowledge, weak and ignorant, have every thing to learn, receive what is taught them with undisputing simplicity, and are incapable of thinking, acting for, and governing themselves. Just thus we should judge of ourselves. We are mere children in respect of any knowledge we have of our proper happiness, or ability to attain it. And this child-like, humble disposition is our necessary preparation for receiving the salvation of God—so called, because it is all his gift and his work. And neither the book of our own heart nor the book of Scripture has been opened to us, till we are brought to this conviction—“that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” (Thomas Adam, Sermons)

The Gospel of grace alone is the same thing as the Gospel of God. The term “Gospel of God” is used eight times, though there are other ways that it means the same thing. The Gospel is the good news of God and that is the same Gospel as the Gospel of Christ alone or the Gospel of grace alone. The Gospel is the Gospel of the glory of God as seen in the face of Christ. This should teach us that the very heart of the Gospel is the character of God. The Gospel of free-grace or the Gospel of the sovereign grace of God is the same thing as the Gospel of God. The living God is the truth of the Gospel and it is only good news when we understand who God is in Christ.

The modern idea is that Christ has done all He can do to pacify and angry God and the rest is up to us. The biblical truth is that God loved sinners and sent His Son to die in their place. This great love of God was such that He sent His Son to actually accomplish salvation, to procure salvation, and then to so fully procure their salvation that it will most certainly be applied at the good pleasure of God. The Gospel of the grace of God stands firmly against all the merit of men and all the contributions that men think that they can make. The Gospel of God or the Gospel of the grace of God means that every single thing that can possibly be done has been done by Christ. The true God stands serene and need absolutely and utterly nothing from man to save man. This is quite hard for men to swallow and they cannot humble themselves deep enough to submit to this. This too is the work of God.

It is God who calls sinners to Himself and He does that by the grace of Christ. As long as men are not deeply and thoroughly humbled in heart, they will not understand the wonder and glory of a free-grace. As long as men do not understand that the Gospel is really the good news of who God is as opposed to what fallen man thinks He is, they will not understand how deeply they must be humbled and what the true nature of the grace of God is. The selfish hearts of men and the proud hearts of men oppose and fight the deep humiliation and the deep breaking of the heart that God works in men in order to prepare them for the true Gospel. Men are blinded to this and as such they are satisfied with the mere doctrine of things and of a simple intellectual belief of these things.

When the Scriptures tell us that we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom, we must take this seriously. When the Scriptures tell us that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, we must inquire with humble prayer seeking to know the mind of God as to what these things mean, what they really are, and for Him to work them in our proud and stubborn hearts. There is nothing so fruitless and hopeless in the universe as men who think that they can do anything to convert themselves or to help God convert them. God has never put any amount of grace in the hands of men to dispense to themselves or others as they please. Men are utterly and totally in the hands of God to show grace as He pleases. This is precisely what the natural man hates and as such he will develop a religion that will allow him to use the language of Scripture and yet keep his heart that is like the Pharisee.

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