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Grace

Grace is God's Free Gift

Galatians 1:15
But then something happened! For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born! What undeserved mercy!
NLT

Since grace is a character of God, grace as it is shown to mankind, is never a mixture of God’s efforts and man’s efforts. It is all God –

Ephesians 2:9
not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Romans 4:4-5; 11:6
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

If grace is the free gift of God, any contribution man might make would nullify the concept of grace.  As Paul writes in Romans, once we undertake an action as a debt or obligation or effort, then any benefit for that action is a wage and not a gift.  God’s gift is truly summed up in the Person and Work of Jesus. We have nothing to contribute to this work and, thus, have no part in the salvation process. It is all in God’s hands.

Foreknowledge as taught by some means that God’s election is so solely dependent upon this concept that man has been appointed to salvation or condemnation before the beginning of the world. While I cannot explain the process, I do not share this view of foreknowledge. The gift must be accepted by faith. There is a mystery to this process, but this is the only manner in which the universal offer verses (such as 2 Pet 3:9) bear any natural truth. To state that these verses are true only for those appointed before hand is to limit their natural interpretation. For a fuller discussion of foreknowledge, go to our more detailed comments here.

Being a character of God, we must accept, however, that grace is a function of God’s sovereignty.  Paul quotes from Exodus 33:19 before providing a summary of what this means:

Romans 9:15-16
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

 

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December 10, 2019

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