This is the true grace of God
(James Smith, "The Believer's Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble" 1842)
"This is the true grace of God, wherein you stand." 1 Peter 5:12
The grace of God is a subject which, of all others, demands our most serious attention.
God's grace is nothing less, than the free, sovereign, and eternal favor of God toward poor sinners in Christ! 2 Timothy 1:9
God's grace is manifested in the wonderful love, kindness, and condescension of our Lord and Savior: "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor — that you through His poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9.
God's grace shines in all the doctrines of the everlasting gospel — they contain the revelation of grace — in the full, complete, and glorious salvation of the people of God.
The Father's grace appears in the CHOICE of a people to show forth His praise.
The Son's grace is revealed in the REDEMPTION of that chosen people from sin, the world, Satan, death, and Hell.
The Spirit's grace is manifest in the NEW BIRTH, sanctification, and teaching of that chosen and redeemed people.
Thus . . .
the Father chooses a people by His grace,
the Son ransoms these chosen people by His grace, and
the Spirit makes these chosen people fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, by His grace.
The Father marks the objects,
the Son delivers from wrath,
the Spirit leads to glory —
and all in richest grace!
In a Word, grace is divine favor, which . . .
arises in God as its fountain;
centers in Christ as its depository;
appears in the doctrines of the gospel as in a mirror;
flows to sinners as its objects; and
peoples Heaven with sanctified believers as its design!
Grace is . . .
the glory of Jehovah;
the charm of the gospel;
the delight of Jesus; and
the fountain of consolation to the church.
Grace is . . .
eternal in its existence;
holy in its nature;
free in its acts;
sanctifying in its tendency;
and glorious in its design!
But if we attend to what the Bible says of grace, we shall discover that the true grace of God is different from what man conceives. Instead of its being an enemy to holiness — grace is . . .
the root on which holiness grows,
the fountain from which holiness springs, and
the principle which produces holiness in the heart.
True grace brings home the Word with power, conviction, and demonstration to the soul! Acts 14:3
True grace works faith in the hearts of poor sinners, who are said "to believe through grace!" Acts 18:27
True grace calls its objects out of a state of nature, sin, and rebellion against God — and teaches them to pray, and mourn before the Lord! Galatians 1:15; Zechariah 12:10
True grace makes obedient to the faith, and leads the soul to receive "grace upon grace" out of the fullness of Jesus! Romans 1:5; John 1:16
True grace destroys the love and dominion of sin; and leads us from the law — to the gospel! Romans 6:14
True grace brings home a sense of pardon to the soul; and imparts everlasting consolation! Ephesians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:16
True grace removes condemnation; and justifies us freely, fully, and eternally! Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7
True grace strengthens, supports, and carries the Christian through all his conflicts, tribulations, and trials! 2 Corinthians 12:9
True grace builds up and establishes its possessor in truth, in faith, and in love! Acts 20:32; Hebrews 13:9
True grace leads to holy, Scriptural, and consistent practice! Titus 2:11-15
True grace will make a man labor for God and the good of immortal souls! 1 Corinthians 15:10
True grace will regulate his lifestyle according to gospel precepts! 2 Corinthians 1:12
True grace . . .
flows in abundance,
saves all its objects, and
raises them to reign in glory! Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:6-8
True grace is always a gift of God, and is invariably free! Romans 11:6; Ephesians 4:7
The man that possesses the true grace of God, and is living under its sacred influence . . .
mourns over his state as a sinner,
longs for perfection as a believer, and
cannot be perfectly happy until purged from all pollution.
He . . .
loves God as His Father,
cleaves to Jesus as His Friend,
views himself as a temple of the Holy Spirit,
hates, fears, and flies from sin,
loves, pants for, and follows after holiness,
worships a sovereign Jehovah,
obeys a reigning Redeemer, and
ascribes all his salvation to free grace!
He . . .
depends on the Lord in his troubles,
flies to Jesus from his foes, and
pleads the free promises of his God.
Christ is his object,
salvation his subject, and
to glorify God is his aim!
He feels, mourns over, and prays for grace to keep down his corruptions.
He renounces self, abhors His own righteousness, and glories in the cross of Christ.
He comes out of the world, is transformed in his mind, and finds suitable associates in sanctified believers.
He lives in communion with his God, feeds on the bread of life, and dies daily.
Reader, have you been made a partaker of the true grace of God?
Opinions in the head, and grace in the heart — are very different things! Notions of grace — are not operations of grace. You may know the true grace of God by this — it brings salvation, and teaches to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.