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grace

Lately I have been thinking about grace and coming across good quotes (so random it might seem) on the topic...

First, this from Fred Smith, former Dallas businessman:

Grace was genuine, real, personal, and palpable to the great saints.  Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach, Francois Fenelon…these Christian mystics never doubted they were the constant recipients of God’s amazing grace.  Grace was a practical part of their every day lives.

For example, Brother Lawrence said when he made a mistake, he didn’t spend time agonizing about it - he just confessed it and moved on.  Before I read this, I spent a lot of time trapped by guilt.  Immediate grace was too good to be true.  Brother Lawrence released me.

Nevertheless, legalism appeals to our common sense and reasoning.  I find it necessary to remind myself that the very Scripture that makes me know my guilt lets me know His grace.  By refusing grace, we play God striving to discipline ourselves.  We view events as punishment.  We see correction coming when, in reality, it isn’t correction at all --- it is just the cause and effect sequence.  We try to read into our circumstances interpreting them as God’s judgment. 

Why do we do this?  Because we feel we deserve judgment rather than grace.  But, grace brings freedom.  If we could only, like Brother Lawrence,  repent and experience the joy of grace, then we could move on, released from guilt.

Grace cannot be earned or deserved, so why do we think some are worthy and others not?  Why do we think we cannot be the “object of grace?”  The Bible tells us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but it doesn’t advocate “worm thinking,“ either.

To grow in Christ means growing in grace.  What do we do with this faith gift?   Humility and gratitude are the responses of the mature Christian.  Anything else is foolish arrogance.
Why can we think in the way of grace?  It is because of the super-abundant, fully sufficient work of Christ.  This quote from Jonathan Edwards in his third sermon on the History of the Work of Redemption:

"The manner of God's saving those persons when all the world besides was so overthrown was very wonderful and remarkable; it was a wonderful work of God and a remarkable type of the redemption of Christ, of that redemption that is sealed by the baptism of water and is so spoken of in the New Testament, as 1 Peter 3:20–21 ["In the days of Noah … eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us"].  That water that washed away the filth of the world, that cleared the world of wicked men, was a type of the blood of Christ that takes away the sin of the world. That water that delivered Noah and his sons from their enemies is a type of that blood that delivers God's church from their sins, their worst enemies. That water that was so plentiful and abundant that it filled the world and reached above the tops of the highest mountains was a type of that blood the sufficiency of which is so abundant baptismal for the whole world's baptism, to bury the biggest mountains of sin. The ark that was the refuge and hiding place of the church in this time of storm and floods was a type of Christ, the true hiding place of the church from the storms and floods of God's wrath."


And finally a wonderful excerpt from Isaac Watts' "The Invitation of the Gospel"...



Dear God, the treasures of thy love
Are everlasting mines,
Deep as our helpless miseries are,
And boundless as our sins.

The happy gates of gospel grace
Stand open night and day,
Lord, we are come to seek supplies,
And drive our wants away.



 

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