THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S GRACE
by Don Fortner--
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I
may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has
given me-- the task of testifying to THE GOSPEL OF
GRACE." Acts 20:24
Grace is the solitary source from which the goodwill,
love, and salvation of God flow to his chosen people.
Grace is completely unmerited and unsought.
It is altogether unattracted by us.
Grace cannot be bought, earned, or won by anything in us or done by us.
If it could, it would cease to be grace.
Grace is bestowed upon sinners without attraction,
without condition, without qualification.
When God's saving grace comes to a sinner, it comes as a
matter of pure charity, unsought, unasked, and undesired.
If you search the Scriptures, you will find that there are five things
which always characterize the grace of God. Whenever men speak contrary
to these five things they deny the grace of God.
1. The grace of God is eternal (Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Tim. 1:9).
2. The grace of God is free (Rom. 3:24).
3. The grace of God is sovereign (Rom. 9:16).
4. The grace of God is distinguishing (1 Cor. 4:7).
5. The grace of God is in Christ, only in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).
Grace is not something God offers to sinners.
Grace is the operation of God in sinners, by which he
effectually saves the objects of his everlasting love.
The gospel of God is the message of grace.
To the self-righteous religionist, it is a stumbling block.
To the learned, philosophical worldling, it is foolishness.
Because there is nothing in the gospel to gratify the pride of man.
The gospel of God declares that man can never be saved,
but by the grace of God. It declares that apart from Christ,
the unspeakable gift of God's grace, there is no salvation,
and that the state of every human being is desperate, hopeless,
The gospel addresses men and women as depraved,
guilty, condemned, perishing sinners.
It puts us all upon one level-
The gospel declares that the purest moralist is in the same
condition as the vilest profligate, that the zealous religionist
is no better than the most profane infidel.
Without Christ, without grace, all are lost!
The gospel addresses every descendant of Adam as a fallen,
polluted, hell-bent, hell-deserving sinner, utterly incapable
of changing his ruined condition.
The grace of God in Christ is our only hope.
All men, by nature, stand before God's holy law as justly condemned
felons, awaiting the execution of his wrath upon us (John 3:18,36;
Our only hope is grace!
"Grace is a provision for men who are--
so FALLEN that they cannot lift the ax of justice,
so CORRUPT that they cannot change their own nature,
so AVERSE TO GOD that they cannot turn to him,
so BLIND that they cannot see him,
so DEAF that they cannot hear him,
and so DEAD that God must himself open their graves
and lift them into resurrection" (George S. Bishop).
The only hope any sinner has of salvation and eternal
life is the grace of God freely bestowed upon sinners
through Jesus Christ,the sinner's Substitute.
The only bestower of grace is God the Holy Spirit,
who is called "the Spirit of grace" (Zech. 12:10).
He is the One who applies the gospel to the hearts
of chosen, redeemed sinners by his effectual, saving power.
He QUICKENS God's elect while they are yet spiritually dead.
He CONQUERS the rebel's will, MELTS the hard heart,
OPENS the blind eye, and CLEANSES the soul.
He gives ears to hear, eyes to see, and
a heart to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.