Amazing Grace

By | June 10, 2012

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”  Ezekiel 18:25


“The problem is that, although we affirm the grace of God in theory, we reject it by neglect.  We do not seem to think it is important.

When the Reformers spoke about “grace alone” (sola gratia), they were saying that sinners have no claim upon God, none at all; that God owes them nothing but punishment for their sins; and that, if he saves them in spite of their sins, which he does in the case of those who are being saved, it is only because it pleases him to do it and for no other reason.  Today, large numbers of evangelicals undermine and effectively destroy this doctrine by supposing that human beings are basically good; that God owes everyone a chance to be saved; and that, if we are saved, in the final analysis it is because of our own good decision to receive the Jesus who is offered to us.

This is why the doctrine of election is opposed by so many.  It doesn’t seem fair to them.  But as soon as we introduce the doctrine of fairness, we introduce a standard of right by which God has to save all or at least give everyone an equal chance of being saved.  And that is not grace!  If God were motivated only by what is right, without any consideration of a grace made possible by the work of Christ, all would be condemned and all would spend eternity in hell.  This is because “there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”  (Romans 3:10-11).

…Amazing grace really is amazing.  It is the most amazing thing in the universe, more amazing even than neutrons and neutrinos, quarks and quasars, and black holes.  But like all familiar things, grace has lost its ability to enthrall most people.  Instead, as theologian J. I. Packer has observed, amazing grace has for many people become “boring grace.”  … Packer suggests it is a failure to understand and “feel in one’s heart” four great truths that the doctrine of grace presupposes: 1) the sinfulness of sin; 2) God’s judgment; 3) man’s spiritual inability; and 4) God’s sovereign freedom.”

“Whatever Happened To The Gospel Of Grace?  Rediscovering The Doctrines That Shook The World”  by James Montgomery Boice  pages 107-110