The tendency of this truth is most sanctifying: for a man to feel that God alone hath made him to differ from another that what he has he has received that by the free, distinguishing grace of God, he is what he is, is a truth, when experienced in the heart, is surely of the most holy influence. How it lays the axe to the root of self! How it stains the pride of human glory, and hushes the whispers of vain boasting! It lays the renewed sinner where he ought ever to lie, in the dust; and places the crown, where it alone ought to shine, bright and glorious, upon the head of sovereign mercy. "Lord, why me? I was far from Thee by wicked works; I was the least of my father's house, and of all, the most unworthy and unlikely object of Thy love: and yet Thy mercy sought me, Thy grace selected me out of all the rest, and made me a miracle of its omnipotent power. Lord, to what can I refer this, but to Thy mere mercy, Thy sovereign and free grace, entirely apart from all worth and worthiness that Thou didst see in me? Take, therefore, my body, soul, spirit, and let them be, in time and through eternity, a holy temple to Thy glory."
GRACE OR WORKS
If God saved you in the light of His consideration of something in you, however small, it could NOT be grace. No amount of immorality can prevent God in His grace, and no amount of morality can commend one's self to God. If one sin, or one thousand of them can hinder a soul in the reception of grace, it ceases to be grace. If the smallest amount of morality can commend one to God, it ceases to be grace.
THE FOUR STRENGTHS OF HUMAN NATURE
The Gospel of God’s redeeming grace to unworthy sinners through the person and work of Christ is the most glorious message that was ever proclaimed. Think of it – salvation accomplished by Christ and His "obedience unto death, even the death of the cross." Yet, because God saves sinners solely on the basis of grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the Gospel is offensive to the natural man. There are four strengths of our sinful nature which cause rebellion against the message of sovereign grace.
(1) IGNORANCE – Mankind is ignorant of that righteousness which God demands and ignorant of the true source of righteousness, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Jews of Paul’s day, all men go about to establish a righteousness of their own and refuse to submit to the righteousness of Christ Jesus (Romans 10:1-4).
(2) PRIDE – Every sinner thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think and believes he must make some contribution to his own salvation. Human nature will not bow to the plain declaration of God’s Word which declares universal guilt and salvation by grace alone. Man is too proud to acknowledge "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
(3) UNCONCERN – Hear the vital questions of Job 25:4 – "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" Sadly, none by nature are asking those questions or seeking to find the answers. Men and women are unconcerned about the just requirements of God. No one stops [until God stops them] to think about how the thrice holy God could accept a fallen sinner without compromising His holy character? None pause to seriously consider that Christ died in order that God be "a just God and a Savior."
(4) UNBELIEF – "And ye will not come to me that ye might have
life" (John 5:40). Everlasting salvation is only to be found in the blessed Savior and yet such is the depravity of man that, apart from the effectual work of the Holy Spirit, men will refuse to believe upon the only One who saves sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ.