Grace and MORE GRACE 3

A word of advice to my own heart and yours. If you are a professor of the Christian faith and partaker of all the ordinances of the church, you do well, for they are glorious privileges. But if you have not the blood of Christ at the root of your profession, then your profession will wither and prove only to be a cheap decorative suit to wear as you enter into hell.            Thomas Wilcox

What we must see regarding the Christian faith is that it is not about performances and duties as such, but instead it is all about the glory of God shining in and through Christ and His people. God only does this by grace. There is absolutely nothing a professing believer (whether true or false) can do to move God to show him or her grace. One can believe all the doctrines of grace, yet that is not the same thing as having and tasting grace. One can do all the ordinances of the church which were originally meant to teach us of Christ and grace, but if we approach them as if we are earning something or deserving something we have yet to understand grace from the depths of the heart.

A man can be a preacher and even a “successful” preacher in the eyes of the world and even the professing Church, but apart from truly having Christ and preaching in the strength of grace all that man does is to grease the path to hell for himself. An eloquent tongue combined with some truth can draw a crowd of religious people and perhaps be famous, but those with Christ in the soul and feed upon Him by grace will long for a man of grace whether he is of simple of words or eloquent. A preacher with fire in his soul may be just a man that has the fire of self-love in the soul, but this is far different than a man who loves the grace of God in truth.

It is one thing to preach an outward gospel of grace, but it is quite another to have the power of grace in the soul and to reach the souls of those who love Christ and His grace. It is one thing to hear eloquent words and even truthful words fall from the lips of a preacher, but it is quite another thing to hear the words of a man taught by grace and speaking by the power and unction of grace. Humility is necessary to have grace, so a proud preacher is really a contradiction in terms and of the Gospel of grace alone. The truth of the matter is that only Christ can break a man of pride and teach the man his utter need of grace each and every moment. Preachers are only sinners in need of grace to save them and then to teach them to walk by grace each moment.

Now if this is true of preachers, and it is, some people will think this is not necessary for them. That is an enormous mistake. It is not enough for any person to be satisfied with doctrinal truth and outward morality. It is not enough for any person to be satisfied with the outward ordinances and church attendance. A profession of faith is not enough, in fact it is not even a start. A person must have Christ from the very first step for any of the steps to be for Him.

The blood of Christ points to our great need for a Savior and it points to our desperate need for a great Savior who saves by grace alone. The blood of Christ shows us how great the wrath of God is for our sin and how we need Christ as our propitiation, not our own efforts or religion. The blood of Christ points to how Christ took human flesh and blood in order to deliver the children from the power of death, which again points us to grace alone. The blood of Christ shows us our great neglect of the glory of God and what it took for Christ to glorify God in our place. This was, again, by grace alone.

Our faith is not at the root of our profession, but Christ is. Our faith is not what we worked up to please God, but instead it too is a gift of grace. As Paul said in Romans 4:16, “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace.” Faith is not a work we do or an effort we put forth in order to obtain grace, but it must come to us by grace as well or grace is no longer grace. We cannot bring one thing to Christ to assist Him in His saving of us, but instead we come as empty beggars with nothing but the leprosy of sin on us from head to toe. We come to Him without anything in our hands and no ability or worth to move Him to save us. In fact, not only are we unable to do these things but He hates them if we try. We look to Him alone and we look to Him to be motivated to save us because of who He is and what He has done rather than who we are and what we have done. Grace and grace alone is our song and our love.

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