Grace and MORE GRACE 4

Grace is that which pours out of God freely and without cost or cause in the sinner from God and it always (always) comes through Jesus Christ. The only thing that moves God to show grace is Himself. Sinners have no ability to move God or be a cause for God to show them good. He is, in the language of Aquinas and from a different context, the unmoved mover. God is not moved by sinners to show grace, but instead He is moved from within Himself and His own character to show grace. Oh how we must learn to trace the wickedness of our own hearts in how we think of God showing mercy to us because we are something or because of something we have done or refrained from doing. Oh how we must beware of how evil our religion can be and of it is more wicked than anything we can think of to trust in our own righteousness.

In all the scripture there is not an ill word against a poor sinner stripped of self-righteousness         (Thomas Willcox)

The Scriptures are replete with warnings and judgments upon sinners, but we must be very, very careful at this point. The sinners judgment came upon were those who were proud and unrepentant. The sinners that judgment came on were those who were not sorry for their sin as against God. But despite all the warnings that God said and threats He carried out upon sinners, there was never a single word against the humbled and broken sinner. Not one single word against those who were stripped of their own self-righteousness. This is why we see Scripture telling us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. This is why the Gospel is said to be preached to the poor (poor in spirit). This is why we are told in the Beatitudes that those who are poor (impoverished) in spirit are the blessed.

We must be crystal clear if we are to preach the Gospel of grace alone and Christ alone. God hates sin and He does judge sinners, but each and every person who has been born after Adam (other than Christ) was and is a sinner. We cannot escape being sinners, but to those who have been brought to see their sin and sorrow for their sin, they are blessed of God by grace alone. The self-righteous sinners, whether religious or not, have great judgments spoken against them. Broken and humbled sinners who have been stripped of all hope in their own supposed self-righteousness have not one word spoken against them.

Take heart, poor sinner. You that God has stripped of all your self-righteousness have grace shown to you. You who have no self-righteousness have the righteousness of Christ to lean on. Those who have a lot of self-righteousness down to even a smidgen of it do not have Christ alone and His grace alone to lean on. You who are broken of heart and see nothing in yourself that is good have a true view of yourself. You are the one that Christ has poured out His grace and Himself upon. The poor sinner who sees how great his or her imperfections are is the sinner who is desperate to lean on grace alone and Christ alone. This means that the sinner who bemoans his or her sin is favored above the self-righteous who see little sin in themselves. The poor sinner who sees how little love s/he has in his or her heart is the one who mourns, but the proud think that they love God and see a lot of love in themselves. The proud do not understand that they have a lot of self-love and think that there is no reason for God not to love them. The poor in spirit sees no love or almost no love in him or herself and knows that there is no reason for God to love them, so this person looks to grace alone.

Poor and broken sinners who have been deeply humbled have great reason for hope. Those who have been broken from their pride and see nothing in themselves worth saving have great reason for hope. Those who think that they are not smart or rich or don’t have enough education or anything to commend themselves to God have reason for hope. Who did Jesus say was the greatest among them in His day? He said it was the most humble. It is true today as well. We should reckon those blessed that God says are blessed. While many who are full of themselves think they are humble, those who are truly humble may see remaining pride. The broken and the needy (spiritually) are those that the eyes of God are upon. In them He beholds the glory of His grace, while in the proud all He sees is their own supposed glory and self-righteousness. Take heart, poor sinners, God saves by grace alone.

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