The True Grace of God
James Smith, 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. Upon this is bottomed, and from this ALONE, springs our eternal salvation; for "we are saved, and called with a holy calling, not according to our works — but according to God's purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began!" 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 church 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, sealing, 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!
The grace of God is manifest in His dealings with His people, in delivering them from their nature state. Wonderful to declare — and yet most certainly true, "Where sin abounded — grace did MUCH MORE abound; that, as sin has reigned unto death, even so might GRACE REIGN through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20, 21.
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 that 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 will make him generous and liberal in the Lord's cause, and to the poor! 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:6-14
True grace flows in abundance, saves all its objects, and raises them to reign in life! Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:6-8
True grace is always a gift, and is invariably free! Romans 11:6; Ephesians 4:7
True grace communicates more and more to its possessor, until the victory and conquest is complete! James 4:6
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, 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 realizes union to Christ, proves His relationship to Christ, and offers up His body and soul as a living sacrifice to God; Romans 12:1
He feels, mourns over, and prays for grace to keep down his corruptions. He rests on the oath of Jehovah, accepts the invitations of Heaven, and washes in atoning blood. 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; 1 Corinthians 15:31. He lives believing, dies rejoicing, and will return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon His head; he shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away; Isaiah 35:10.
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.
Are you seeking grace? If so, Jehovah is set before you as the God of ALL grace; 1 Peter 5:10. He waits to bestow grace; Isaiah 30:18. He is able to make all grace abound toward you; 2 Corinthians 9:8. He will give grace and glory; Psalm 84:11. He will give more grace; James 4:6. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to His power that works in us; Ephesians 3:20.
Come, then, boldly to the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need; Hebrews 4:16. Let nothing satisfy you but the possession of grace, and an evidence of an interest in grace.
You may know the true grace of God by this — it brings salvation, and teaches to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. My fellow-sinner, have You received salvation? Have you experienced a change of heart, and a change of life? Nothing but the grace of God can bring you to Heaven, and it only brings those there who possess it. To be in a graceless state, is to be in a hopeless state; and to be in a hopeless state, is to be in a most dreadful state.
You have now read of the true grace of God; you have been shown from God's word what it does; you have been pointed to the throne where it is to be obtained. Oh, may the God of all grace call you to His eternal glory, by Christ Jesus; and after you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, strengthen, establish and settle you. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.