Monday, March 2, 2015

The Distinguishing Grace of God

The only difference there is between the believer and the unbeliever, between the righteous and the wicked, between the seed of Christ and the seed of the serpent, is the difference which grace has made. This we must acknowledge- "By the grace of God I am what I am!" God's grace is always particular, distinctive, and distinguishing. Those who are saved by the free grace of God in Christ have been and forever are distinguished from those who are lost by these five distinct acts of grace.

The first distinguishing act of God's grace is his ETERNAL ELECTION.  If you can, with the eye of faith, trace every spiritual blessing that you now enjoy, and those which you hope to enjoy, back to the place of their original source, the place of their origin would be spelled "E L E C T I O N."

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  Ephesians 1:4-5

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  2 Thessalonians 2:13

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  Jeremiah 31:3

The second act of grace by which God has distinguished his elect from the rest of mankind is EFFECTUAL REDEMPTION. By his precious blood, poured out unto death upon the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ has effectually ransomed and redeemed God's elect from the hands of divine justice, by satisfying the claims of justice against us.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:8-11

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  Galatians 3:13

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  Hebrews 9:12

The third act of grace by which the Lord has distinguished us from the rest of the world is his ADORABLE PROVIDENCE. Our God governs all the affairs of this world. And he has governed all the affairs and circumstances of our lives to bring us to the place where we now are, and to eternal glory in Christ and with Christ in heaven.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

The fourth act of grace by which we are distinguished from all other men is GOD'S SOVEREIGN WORK OF REGENERATION. The only thing that makes you different from any other being on this planet, if you are born again, is the fact that God has saved you. He gave you life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and grace of his Holy Spirit.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  Ephesians 2:4-6

The fifth act of grace by which God distinguishes his elect from the unbelieving is his MERCIFUL PRESERVATION. The only thing that keeps us in grace is grace itself. The only thing that holds us to Christ is Christ himself.

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.  Jeremiah 32-38-40

The Lord Jesus says, with regard to all his people, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” The salvation he gives is eternal salvation. The life he gives is eternal life. That means that all who are saved by him are saved forever!

[Don Fortner]

1 Corinthians 4:7 ... For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

1 Corinthians 15:10 ... But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Romans 8:29-30 ... For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

John 10:28 ... And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.